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Baltimore-Washington Section of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy

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September Historical Events in Spectroscopy by Leopold May, Catholic University

October Historical Events in Spectroscopy by Leopold May, Catholic University

Download a PDF copy of the September Newsletter

Meeting Announcement - Thursday, September 30, 1999
Continuum Source Atomic Absorption Spectrometry - An AA Method For The Terminally Suspicious
Marcus Schuetz

Sure, you think your results from your line source AA spectrometer are accurate and your background correction method works perfectly fine. But do you really know what is happening to your sample? Or rather, the question is: do you want to know? Continuum source Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (CS-AAS) is the perfect way to ruin your good night's sleep; it shows you what ugly things can happen during the atomization process. Molecular structures, wreaking havoc with your D2-, your Smith-Hieftje- and sometimes even your Zeeman-correction method, unnoticed by the unaware operator, the truth now dragged into the open by CS-AAS.

Find out how CS-AAS accomplishes this incredible feat, why not everybody uses it, why CS-AAS really isn't that bad, what nifty things you can do with it, and what an academy award winner and a Beatle have to do with analytical chemistry.

Let CS-AAS show you the light!!! (But bring your sunglasses!!)

This talk has been rated PG-13; some content might be unsuitable for chemists under 13.

Biographical Sketch

Marcus Schuetz (email: schuetz@bhnrc.usda.gov) received a Master in Physics from the Technical University in Berlin, Germany in 1994. The focus of his research was the construction of a multi-wavelength dye laser system for the simultaneous detection of up to four elements by Electrothermal Atomization - Laser Excited Atomic Fluorescence Spectrometry (ETA-LEAFS) in the UV. He then left the narrow field of lasers to work in the field of Continuum Source Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (CS-AAS). His graduate research about structured interferences in CS-AAS and their correction was performed at the Berlin branch of the Institute for Spectrochemistry and Applied Spectroscopy (ISAS). He received his Ph.D. in engineering in 1997. Since March 1998 he has worked as a post-doctoral research associate with Jim Harnly at USDA's Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center's Food Composition Laboratory, where he continues his work on continuum source atomic absorption spectrometry. He is currently undergoing therapy to cure him from his paranoia, an occupational hazard of CS-AAS.

Date: Thursday, September 30, 1999
Place: West End Grill, 7904 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda, MD, 301-951-9696
Time: 6 pm Social Hour, 6:45 pm Dinner, 8 pm Seminar.
Cost: $20 -Choice from the menu. Included with each meal is a House Salad, Coffee, Tea, or Soft Drink and Dessert.
Reservations: Please make your reservations by NOON, Monday, September 27, 1999 by calling Larry Pollack at work 703-810-4351, or e-mail at larry.pollack@dtra.mil
Directions: From the Beltway take Wisconsin Ave. south past NIH. Take a right turn on Woodmont Ave. Restaurant is after the 4th light. Use street parking or the parking garage on the right in the next block.


Welcome to what I trust will be another year of intellectually simulating meetings and discussions. It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to chair the local section. In fact, I serve you as part of a small, elite group - those of us who are so gullible that we have returned to fulfill the responsibilities of the chairperson on an encore basis! Thanks for the (second) opportunity!!

Our kick-off speaker on Thursday, September 30, 1999 will be Dr. Marcus Schuetz of the USDA Food Composition Lab in Beltsville. The title of his presentation is "Continuum Source Atomic Absorption Spectrometry - An AA Method for the Terminally Suspicious". You gotta love a sense of humor! Come check it out -- show your support to the local section. And we'll be dining at one of our favorite "new" restaurants - The West End Grill in Bethesda.

I'm certain the year will go by way too quickly. And of course we are on a final countdown for Y2K! Looking down the pike, I'll do my best to ensure that the SAS Tour Speaker doesn't slip out of our grasp. And we'll try to do a group event at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, as we did when I last had the privilege of heading up our local chapter.

I look forward seeing old acquaintances that I have known for a number of years thanks to introductions made at the SAS local chapter meetings. I would be especially pleased to greet some newcomers to the meetings - so if you've never checked us out, or have been a stranger to the meetings for some time, don't be shy. We're actually a pretty decent group of people.

Larry Pollack
Chairman, Baltimore - Washington Section, SAS

Your Baltimore-Washington Section Officers for 1998-1999:

Chair: Larry Pollack, Defense Threat Reduction Agency/US DoD (703) 810-4351, larry.pollack@dtra.mil
Chairman Elect: John S. Canham, NASA-Goddard 301-286-8970, john.s.canham.1@gsfc.nasa.gov
Secretary: Dave Hill, USDA, 301-504-8282, hill@307.bhnrc.usda.gov
Treasurer: Jeb Taylor, FDA, 301-594-5843, TAYLORJ@cder.fda.gov
Delegates: Scott Baker, USDA and Mike Epstein, NIST
Newsletter Editor: Kris Patterson, USDA, 301-504-9010, Fax: 301-504-9062, patterson@307.bhnrc.usda.gov
Science Fair and Student Award Committee: Bob Koons, FBI, 703-640-1538
I.L. Barnes Award: John Moody
Web page editor: Mike Epstein

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Visit our local section sponsor WWW pages:

The Perkin-Elmer Corporation - Analytical Instruments Division. Take a look and you will see more: The AA ANALYST systems have set a new standard for flame and furnace users, utilizing true STPF conditions and total automation. The State of the Art OPTIMA 3000 series systems having sold nearly 2000 units in less than four years, has become a staple for ICP-OES users. With simultaneous and sequential versatility, increased speed and the widest dynamic range for ICP. The industry leader ELAN 6000 ICP-MS system which is installed in more than 50% of all environmental laboratories using ICP-MS worldwide has continued to be a stellar performer.

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Past Issues of the Baltimore-Washington Section Newsletter (including Historical Events in Chemistry for those months)

Summer 1999

Spectrum Go to the National SAS Home Page

For more information concerning Baltimore-Washington Section activities, email Larry Pollack (larry.pollack@dtra.mil)

Page prepared by: Mike Epstein
Last Modified: September 17, 1999