The theoretical or experimental basis of some persistent statements in the literature on the general features of atomic absorption analysis is examined. The reputed advantages of atomic absorption over flame emission analysis, with respect to sensitivity and absence of excitation interference, are critically discussed, as well as the often over-estimated influence of resonance broadening on the shape of the analytical curve. Also, the curvature of the analytical curve with a continuum source is analyzed. The use of an auxiliary flame emitting a strongly self-absorbed metal line, as an effective continuum source, is suggested.
C. Th.J. Alkemade, "Science vs Fiction in Atomic Absorption," Appl. Opt. 7, 1261-1269 (1968)