We report the first application of time- and spatially resolved "hook" spectroscopy to quantitatively determine the number density of species sampled by an atmospheric-pressure analytical spark discharge. The new instrument consists of a tunable dye laser light source, a Mach-Zehnder interferometer, a stigmatic spectrograph, and a high-fidelity image transfer system. The integrated number densities of ground-state sodium atoms, ablated from a graphite electrode containing NaCl, are deduced from the corrresponding hook spectrum. Data are obtained at different spatial windows with respect to the interelectrode axis and also at different times after the spark breakdown. Advantages and limitations of the approach are discussed.
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