Radiant Energy

Last updated: September 16, 2018

What Does Radiant Energy Mean?

Radiant energy is any type of energy that travels in waves. In drug testing, light waves, a form of radiant energy, are used to detect the presence of chemicals in a test specimen. Each drug or drug metabolite has a distinctive molecular signature. By using radiant energy these molecular signatures can be identified and drug exposure detected.


WorkplaceTesting Explains Radiant Energy

Infrared (IR) spectroscopy is one method of drug testing that assesses radiant energy to identify molecules. IR spectroscopy is performed by passing infrared radiation (light waves) through a sample. The amount of IR radiation that is absorbed or emitted by the sample is then measured. These measurements are compared to the known color spectrum for each targeted drug and its metabolites.

Other methods such as a Raman spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and ultraviolet spectroscopy also employ light waves to identify drugs in a test sample.


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