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photoacoustic spectroscopy[¦fōd·ō·ə¦kü·stik spek′träs·kə·pē]
A spectroscopic technique for investigating solid and semisolid materials, in which the sample is placed in a closed chamber filled with a gas such as air and illuminated with monochromatic radiation of any desired wavelength, with intensity modulated at some suitable acoustic frequency; absorption of radiation results in a periodic heat flow from the sample, which generates sound that is detected by a sensitive microphone attached to the chamber. Abbreviated PAS. Also known as optoacoustic spectroscopy.