The analytical problems of the Bell Telephone Laboratories differ in many respects from those encountered in control plant laboratories. We are consumers of a wide variety of materials embracing most of the metals and alloys, the metalloids, and non-metallic materials including ceramics, ores, paper, paints, rubber, plastics, organic liquids, wood and others. Our spectrochemical laboratories are required to analyze quantitatively all of these substances, seldom on a routine basis but, nevertheless, with precision and dispatch. Frequently we have no control over the form size or history of the samples submitted to us and we therefore must tailor our analytical techniques to fit the samples, whether it be representative of tons of material or is itself a complete sample of only a few micrograms. Samples are submitted to us from the engineers, metallurgists, physicists and chemists in our organization, and the analyses of these samples are related in one way or another to their own research and development problems. Our analytical work is often part of that research. Much of it is of a non-recurring nature. When the researcher's problem is solved the need for a particular analysis often ceases and new analytical problems are presented to us in their next research program. Our techniques must therefore be versatile, capable of application to samples of a wide variety as to material, form, size, history and range of concentration of elements determined.
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