We start this book by developing a general view of the subject to be treated. The present book may retain its significance from the synthesis of x-ray science on one hand, and the physics and technology necessary for the production of highly charged ions on the other hand. More generally, spectroscopy refers to a process in which measurements of spectral lines and continua are used for mapping the energy-level structure of physical systems. As sketched in Fig. 1.1 the process of gaining a deeper understanding requires several ingredients (see, also, the introduction given by Svanberg [1.1]). We start from a suitable ion and light source which must provide the ionic species in their relevant excitation states. Control over the light source also relating to the thermodynamic state of the ions is essential for the adaption of an appropriate analyzer. The latter often is a spectrometer with a photon detector coupled to it. The reduction of the raw measurement data to interpretable results requires a theory or model plus, usually, control over the measurement process in such a way that the measured quantities can be related to previously obtained experimental and theoretical data. For the latter aspect the terms metrology or calibration are commonly used. Prom the knowledge of the interpretable and relatable results a new understanding of the physical system can result. As a consequence, a new measurement cycle may be enforced through a more or less tight feedback loop.
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