SPECPR Users’ Manual                                                   Page 8-f5.1

F5: Continuum Removal                                   Alias: cont[rem]
The f5 continuum removal is an old algorithm that has been
superseded in most cases by newer routines such as f12 (cubic
spline) and f44 (segmented upper hull).  However, it does have an
advantage in that it removes a continuum of a specific shape given by
the user in the form of a spectrum.
To enter the routine, type f5.
The directions are fairly simple.  The routine fits a given
continuum to a spectrum.  The routine will prompt for the continuum
and spectrum, as well as the continuum points used for the fit.
Basically, you select two channels and a straight line is generated
through these two channels in both the given continuum and the
spectrum.  The continuum is modified by linearly changing its slope so that
the same two channels on the continuum match the values in the
spectrum.  Once the fit is complete, the spectrum is divided by the
modified continuum.
First, you will be instructed to enter the two channels for which
you want to match the continuum.  Usually that will be on
each side of an absorption band.
Enter two values to which continuum is to be matched followed by
h, a, or n representing units of channel, wavelength, and energy
(inverse wavelength, and the wavelength file id and record number.
For example:

             12 33 h V36
              1.2 1.65 a V36

would be equivalent if channel 12 = wavelength 1.2 and channel 33 =
wavelength 1.65.  The wavelength set is then V36.
The two points can be entered in whatever units are convenient
for you, in free format (spaces between numbers, no commas).  The
wavelength file is read, and the two values entered are correlated
with the appropriate channel in the wavelength set.
You can exit the routine here if you wish with an e or x command.
Next, enter the spectrum file id and record number, e to include errors
followed by the continuum file id and record number.  Type e or x to
exit the routine.
The message on the CRT will say "WORKING" when you hit the return
key after entering the information.  The title of the files
used will be printed on the CRT as they are accessed by the
program.  The error file with the spectrum is accessed if it was
The continuum spectrum is scaled to the spectral data at the
two given points by calculating a scaled slope and an intercept
(or vertical offset) and converting each data point of the
continuum to the scaled continuum through the relationship Y = mx
+ b where Y is the scaled continuum, m is the slope, x is the
original continuum value at a given channel, and b is the
intercept.  The spectrum is then divided by the scaled
continuum.  The errors are scaled by a factor of (scaled spectrum ÷
original spectrum).
Finally, the title and history are made and control is transferred
back to the main program to write the file.

Original author: Lucy Mcfadden