Flame spectroscopy, 19th century

Flame spectroscopy, 19th century

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Flame spectroscopy. This apparatus uses an electric arc (battery at lower right) to burn samples to produce a flame. The colour of the flame is being analysed and compared with that from a lamp (left). This allows the analyst to identify metals present in the sample from the colour of the flame. This analysis is being done for a government laboratory for expertise and scientific analysis, founded in 1878. This laboratory aimed to protect public health and uncover fraudulent goods and food that could be fatal. Artwork from the first volume (first period of 1888) of the French popular science weekly 'La Science Illustree'.

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