This paper provides an introduction to Fourier transform spectroscopy. The basic concepts of the Fourier transform technique are reviewed. These include the characteristics and generation of interferograms and the generation of spectra by the Fourier transformation of interferograms. The multiplex and throughput advantages and the data handling disadvantages are also discussed. The optical, electronic, and data-handling instrumentation and techniques necessary for a Fourier transform spectrometer system are, in general, quite different from those of a conventional prism or grating spectrometer. The requirements of these areas are outlined and recent developments are reviewed. The Fourier transform technique has been successfully applied to a number of spectral measurements from the visible through to the far infrared. Some of the more recent applications are discussed.

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