All chemists have heard of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, or IUPAC as it is usually called, whether pronounced "eye-upac" or "upac". Most chemists have regularly made use of the work of IUPAC, even if they did not realize that they were doing so. For example, current nomenclature in all areas of chemistry owes much to the work of IUPAC. Also, infrared spectroscopists have depended for years on the IUPAC wavenumber standards to make their spectral data transferable between laboratories, or even transferable across temperature changes in the same laboratory. But few chemists or spectroscopists know much about IUPAC. The authors of this article are the chairmen of the two commissions of IUPAC which focus on spectroscopy, and the purpose of the article is to tell the reader about IUPAC and its spectroscopy commissions.

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