Abstract

Three instruments for measuring absorption of visible light by atmospheric aerosols are compared: the visual comparator; plate diffuser; and photoacoustic spectrometer. Two versions of the photoacoustic spectrometer are tested, one built of acrylic plastic and the other of aluminum. One version of the visual comparator uses Millipore filters for a crucial reflective surface, another a mirror. Several materials collected on Nuclepore filters are used in the comparison. Laboratory generated samples consist of carbon and carbon overlaid with ammonium sulfate. Atmospheric aerosols were collected in Tucson and on an Arizona mountain peak. All methods give reasonably consistent results, even when applied to the lightly absorbing nonurban atmospheric samples.

© 1985 Optical Society of America

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