A method and apparatus for measuring partial pressures of gaseous components within a mixture. The apparatus comprises generally at least one tunable laser source, a beam splitter, mirrors, optical filter, an optical spectrometer, and a data recorder. Measured in the forward direction along the path of the laser, the intensity of the emission spectra of the gaseous component, at wavelengths characteristic of the gas component being measured, are suppressed. Measured in the backward direction, the peak intensities characteristic of a given gaseous component will be wavelength shifted. These effects on peak intensity wavelengths are linearly dependent on the partial pressure of the compound being measured, but independent of the partial pressures of other gases which are present within the sample. The method and apparatus allow for efficient measurement of gaseous components.