David W. Ball

David W. Ball is a professor of chemistry at Cleveland State University in Ohio. Many of his "Baseline" columns have been reprinted in book form by SPIE Press as the Basics of Spectroscopy, available through the SPIE Web Bookstore at His most recent book, Field Guide to Spectroscopy (published in May 2006), is available from SPIE Press.


Spectroscopy Is Applied Quantum Mechanics, Part IV: Ideal Systems

June 01, 2008

In Parts I-III of this series, columnist David W. Ball recounted the failings of classical mechanics, the quantum hypothesis, and the rise of a new theory called quantum mechanics. In this installment, he discusses the ideal systems whose wavefunctions can be determined exactly from the Schr?dinger equation.

Spectroscopy Is Applied Quantum Mechanics, Part II: The Quantum Revolution

January 01, 2008

In part I of this series, columnist David Ball laid the groundwork for why the scientific understanding of nature in the late 19th century was found wanting: it could not explain a variety of phenomena that scientists were examining. (One of these phenomena was spectroscopy itself!) In this installment, he reviews the paradigm shifts in science that preceded the development of the currently accepted theories of the nature of matter. It all starts with the nature of light.


January 01, 2006

Some types of spectroscopy work better if the intensity of the light source increases and decreases in a regular pattern. Such a varying signal is called modulated, and here, the author explores the devices that perform this function.


November 06, 2001

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