(Received 6 March 1973; accepted 10 July 1973)
Published Online: January
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In an investigation almost any article or material may come to the attention of the forensic scientist as physical evidence. Frequently he is asked to test the existence of an association or common origin between the questioned material and some other sample to the exclusion of all (ideally) other similar samples of the same group or class. This process or operation is referred to as individualization by forensic Scientists. If the sample is an object which has certain morphological peculiarities or physical markings, these may be compared with those on an item that is thought to have been associated with the questioned one to test this hypothesis. If, however, the item or material lacks these markings, it may be necessary to consider compositional differences. The approach used to study such differences will vary depending on the general type of material being analyzed.
De Forest, PR
Assistant professor of criminalistics, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York, New York, N.Y.
Stock #: JFS10078J