Published: Mar 1996
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ALTHOUGH THEY ARE SELDOM linked in people's minds, molecular and atomic absorption techniques show many common features. The basic optics of the instruments bear a certain resemblance. Both approaches excel at minor to trace level concentrations. And in their respective heydays, both techniques were promoted for their speed and selectivity. It seems natural to discuss them together in this brief survey of measurement techniques to compare and contrast them, as well as to illustrate the important roles that both continue to play in the metals laboratory.