The present status of accomplishment, the remaining problems, and the trends in the present activity in the field of optical spectroscopy are reviewed in the historical perspective. The discussion covers techniques of production, recording and evaluation of spectra, and the results regarding, especially, the term structure of atoms in various stages of ionization. Applications of the results to the interpretation of astronomical spectra, including in particular the vacuum-ultraviolet solar spectrum, are also discussed, and some of the laboratory work that is most urgently needed for this and other purposes is pointed out.

© 1966 Optical Society of America

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