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Fact Files: Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy - an Australian Invention

Did you know whilst working off his frustration in his garden in the Melbourne suburb of Brighton, Melbourne CSIRO scientist, Sir Alan Walsh had a sudden epiphany, ‘We’ve been measuring the wrong bloody thing! We should be measuring absorption, not emission!This thought led to one of the most significant advancements in chemical analysis.


Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) measures small amounts of elements and is routinely used in medicine, manufacturing, mining, environmental monitoring and laboratories throughout the world.


AAS has made industry more efficient and also saved lives!

Lucy at her desk, Asbestos department of Envirolab Services Sydney with COVID measures in place (image left) and her gorgeous cat (right)

Sir Alan Walsh developed the technique of AAS in 1952.
Photo Credit: CSIRO Archives.


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