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Logarithmic Sector vs. Photoelectric Densitometer in Measuring Intensity Ratios

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The relative intensities of a group of ten lines of the spectrum of a hydrogen discharge tube have been measured both by conventional photoelectric densitometry and with a logarithmic sector. A statistical analysis of the results showed that, for our instruments, photoelectric densitometry is slightly more accurate than logarithmic sector intensitometry; the former method gave an average coefficient of variation, in the measurement of an intensity ratio, of 2% whereas the latter method gave an average coefficient of variation of approximately 4%. However, for a great many applications in spectrochemical analysis the latter method appears to be sufficiently accurate, at the same time having many advantages. It is faster, simpler; intensity ratios are obtained directly without the need of a calibration curve; the method is self calibrating; it does not involve a considerable amount of complicated equipment that requires frequent attention; intensity ratios can be made over a much greater range for a single exposure of the spectrum.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Signal Corps Engineering Laboratories, Fort Monmouth, N. J.

Publication date: August 1, 1954

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