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A spectroscope is a device which measures the spectrum of light. Early spectroscopes were simply a prism with graduations marking wavelengths. Modern spectroscopes generally use a diffraction grating, a movable slit and some kind of photodetector, all automated and controlled by a computer.

The spectroscope was invented by Gustav Robert Georg Kirchhoff and Robert Wilhelm Bunsen.

See also spectroscopy, spectrograph, spectrometer.