One can view our comprehension of surface-enhanced Raman scattering, particularly that by colloidal dispersions of metal sols, as the merging of two traditions in light-scattering theory and practice. One of these originated with Michael Faraday's work on brilliantly colored metal sols, which was taken up by Richard Zsigmondy and then by Gustav Mie, who accounted for the colors by electromagnetic-scattering theory. The other tradition starts with John Tyndall's work with aerosols, which stimulated Lord Rayleigh's entry into the field. Lord Rayleigh was perplexed by observations made with sulfur hydrosols, which in turn were explored by C. V. Raman. Raman's extensive work in light scattering led to his subsequent discovery of the Raman effect. These two traditions were then intertwined when it was shown that the same physical effect that caused Faraday's sols to exhibit their brilliant colors was also the origin of the enhancement of Raman signals from molecules adsorbed on the metal particles that compose these sols.
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