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There are errors and limitations in each step of the technique used in spectrochemical analysis. With a systematic study of the fundamental processes involved in the various steps, an insight is gained into the causes of the errors; thus, a basis is acquired for changing the technique so as to avoid error as much as possible. For instance, in many cases the limitations of the photographic technique are the greatest source of error. By careful plate calibration and rigorous control of the photographic process these photographic errors can be considerably reduced. The properties of the light source then present the greatest source of errors. If the light source is not well regulated, it may be the limiting factor in any case. In the future, when probably the shortcomings of the photographic process more and more can be avoided by using direct photoelectric methods for intensity measurements, the shortcomings of the light sources will be felt increasingly. Attempts to find more suitable light sources have been made and will be continued. Such attempts, to be successful, require a thorough knowledge of the fundamental properties of the light sources. As the fundamental processes occurring in the light source are flu complex, a thorough understanding of the behavior of most sources is still lacking. In order to make much future progress, suitable methods for studying what is going on in the light sources must be devised. In this paper the author attempts to give an account of some such methods.
Dieke, G. H.
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md.