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Chapter 1:
A Short History
Spectroscopy is the study of matter using electromagnetic radiation. While this definition is nominally correct, it is rather simple. On this basis, one could argue that everything we know about the universe comes from spectroscopy, since much of we have learned comes from what we see in the world around us. But simply looking at a picture or painting is not usually considered “spectroscopy,” even though the action might involve studying a piece of matter in broad daylight. While we will not attempt to develop a more detailed definition of spectroscopy in the remainder of this book, we will be examining various aspects of spectroscopy that make it a scientific tool. In order to set the stage better for the various topics that will be presented, we present a quick history of the development of topics relevant to spectroscopy. There are three major topics: matter, light, and the fusion of matter and light that was ultimately (and properly) labeled €œspectroscopy.€
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