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Factor analysis is a mathematical tool for solving multidimensional problems, having great potential in absorption spectroscopy. It can be used for both qualitative and quantitative analysis of mixtures. Abstract factor analysis reveals the number of absorbing components in a mixture, calculates the real error in the measurements, and improves the data. The method can be used to compress libraries of spectroscopic data into its smallest dimensions without loss of information. Target factor analysis allows the analyst to verify the presence or absence of suspected components. Spectra of unstable intermediates can be isolated. Various examples are discussed.
factor analysis, multidimensional analysis, principal component analysis, absorption spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy
Professor of Chemistry, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ