Spectroscopy Since 1975

Articles and Columns


Whether it is looking at geological samples to exploit potential mineral deposits, identifying the provenance of gemstones or exploring the surface of Mars, LIBS has proven to be a valuable technique. The ability to take the instrument into the field with the development of handheld spectrometers has only enhanced its utility.

Tony Davies and Luc Patiny introduce us to free online NMR data processing tool in “NMRium browser-based nuclear magnetic resonance data processing”. They run through the background to the project, how it works and how you can try it yourself. There is a video introduction and an online demo page where you can play with different scenarios.

Many of you will be working in the cancer field, whether in diagnosis or research, in which case you will be very interested in this Sampling Column. Even if this is not your field of work, you will be interested from a personal point of view! It presents a fascinating idea and solution to improving the identification of different parts of a tumour and, thus, to provide better personalised treatment. “…in solid tumour oncology, representative sampling is truly a matter of life or death…”

John Hammond continues his journey through four generations of quality with “’Don’t risk it’. Accreditation standards and their role in quality assurance”. John reviews the two main ISO 17000 series accreditation standards—ISO/IEC 170251 and ISO 17034—their impact on quality assurance, testing or calibration laboratories, and how these standards have evolved and continue to be implemented.

What should we be calling the various types of spectral imaging? The authors lay out some suggestions and welcome your views.

This cannot be true—surely sampling and weighing are different activities. Well yes—and no! Sampling and weighing of traded metal, mineral and agro commodities are different activities—but at one or several stages in the supply chain they will come together in a single focus point, which is value ($, EUR).

The SensorFINT COST Action is a European Network for assuring food integrity using non-destructive spectral sensors.

Following our articles on the FAIR initiative, we now look at some examples of the FAIRification of data handling, collection and archiving.

This article concentrates on the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) organisation, its standards and their place within the Quality environment. By definition, it discusses the role of ISO in the administration and control of these standards and their evolution and harmonisation into the standards currently in existence.

This article describes a clever adaptation to benchtop NMR experiments that allows the collection of multiple scans (to produce high signal-to-noise ratios) without the time penalties involved.

Cultural heritage is a growing application area for spectroscopy, and our second article describes how infrared and X-ray spectroscopy are being used to explore the coatings used by the old Cremonese makers that produced such outstanding sound.

The Tony Davies Column offers a challenge to us all with another contribution on FAIR data, which should be Findable, Available, Interoperable and Readable. It is clearly the way we should all be going, everybody from manufacturers and software developers, through researchers to publishers needs to work together.

John Hammond describes the start of a new mini-series of column articles and what you can look forward to in the next few issues.

The Sampling Column provides some easy-to-understand examples of what sampling errors are, what are the consequences of them and what can be done about them. Particular examples from pharma, PAT and NIR spectroscopy are provided.

Mike Sargent gives an overview of traceability in atomic spectroscopy. He explains the background, as well as more specialised areas such as inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS).

Mark McDowall, Meetings Secretary of The British Mass Spectrometry Societ,y explains how the society coped with the restrictions of COVID and what his views are for the future of events.

View of the entrance to analytica virtual

How did a major trade show organiser cope with the disruption of COVID-19? Susanne Grödl, Exhibition Director of analytica for Messe München, gives her experience.

Following on from a recent column that reported on work which had shown that weight fractions were often incorrect concentration units to use in quantitative chemometric studies, Howard Mark goes into more detail.

Oscar Dominquez here presents the critical role of QM in the mining sector, where everything is BIG: tonnages, challenges, environmental impact, profits, risks—illustrating how proper sampling is a major critical success factor also here. But the mining sector view is not unique; the QM prerogatives can be carried over to very many other sectors as well.

What can quality sustems tell us about PCR testing for COVID-19? Peter Jenks has some concerns.