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Chapter 8:
Resolution and Noise
There are several issues that communicate how “good” a spectrum is. In this chapter, we will focus on two of them: resolution and noise. Both are factors that can affect the quality of a spectrum. Keep in mind that not all of the issues discussed here are applicable to all types of spectroscopy. A good spectroscopist should recognize which issues will impact the particular spectrum being measured. A spectrum, recall, is usually some graphical representation of electromagnetic radiation absorbed or emitted versus the energy of that radiation. One concern of anyone measuring a spectrum should be, how close can two different spectral transitions be and still be differentiated as different signals? This question relates to the idea of resolution.
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