(Received 30 April 1973; accepted 3 October 1973)
Published Online: April
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The fully automatic recording spectrophotometer became a basic instrumental necessity in toxicology and crime laboratories a few years after being marketed. About the same time the infrared spectrophotometer became prominent as an analytical instrument, and indeed infrared spectrophotometry became the most specific method of identification available in most laboratories analyzing organic compounds during the sixties. An enormous amount of literature has been devoted to the interpretation of infrared spectra. Since absorption bands in the infrared region are sharper and more numerous than in the ultraviolet (UV) range, little attention has been given to practical approaches to interpretation of UV spectra. The fact that many compounds have similar and nearly identical spectra can be used as an advantage, since fewer standard spectra are needed than there are compounds to be identified. Matching the spectrum of an unknown to that of a known is in many instances simpler than the same process using infrared data.
Virginia Bureau of Forensic Science, Northern Virginia Regional Laboratory, Merrifield, Va.
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