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The application of a time-shared IBM 1800 Data Acquisition and Control Computer to data acquisition and reduction in transient photoconductive decay experiments is described. These experiments present an interesting problem in laboratory automation, since they involve high data rates (data periods frequently on the submillisecond scale), a free-running independent variable (time), and a mode of operation in which it is possible to amass large quantities of data in a relatively short time. Techniques are described wherein these transient data are collected in real time while the computer simultaneously monitors many timer-based, slower-scanning experiments. The computer is shown to facilitate a variety of otherwise formidable data manipulation and analysis tasks. In addition to improving the quality of the data obtained, automation of these measurements provides data analysis and display of physical results within minutes after each data logging run, permitting the experimenter to interact closely with the data in a fashion not possible under manual operation.
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