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Atomic Absorption Spectrometry

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Principles. A sample is dissolved and then atomized in a flame. A beam of light, of carefully controlled wavelength, is shone through the flame to a detector on the other side. The wavelength is selected so that atoms of the element under study will absorb some of the light. Concentrations of this element in the sample can then be calculated from the degree of absorption. Materials. A powdered sample of between 10 and lOOmg is required. The technique has so far been used to analyse flint and bronze. Applications. Atomic absorption spectrometry has been used to investigate trace elements in flint. It is possible to trace the origin of some flint artefacts by matching their trace element concentrations with those of various sources of the material.

The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983Copied