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Laser spectroscopic techniques are powerful tools for monitoring real-world phenomena. A wide variety of methods for establishing spectroscopic contact with a species exist: Absorption, emission, fluorescence, Raman scattering, acousto-optic, and opto-galvanic phenomena. Extreme sensitivity and specificity characterize the methods, which can be used for in situ monitoring and, in some cases, for remote sensing. Combustion diagnostics and atmospheric pollution monitoring are examples of gas-phase applications, while vegetation studies and early cancer detection illustrate interactions with solids.