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Chemical Analysis

  1. Kenneth A. Rubinson1,2

Published Online: 15 MAR 2011

DOI: 10.1002/3527600434.eap060.pub2

Encyclopedia of Applied Physics

Encyclopedia of Applied Physics

How to Cite

Rubinson, K. A. 2011. Chemical Analysis. Encyclopedia of Applied Physics. 527–580.

Author Information

  1. 1

    The Five Oaks Research Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA

  2. 2

    Wright State University, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Dayton, OH, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2011


This chapter outlines the tools of chemical analysis that are used to determine the identities and amounts of elements and molecules that comprise material—the usual solids, liquids, and gases but also including flames and interstellar matter and so forth. The choice of the method or instrument to be used depends on what fraction of the material to be measured is present in a material and the size of the sample. Current capabilities of analysis range from essentially unity (100%) to about one part in 1012. In addition, the complexity of samples encountered often dictates using a method that can isolate the responses from one or many species to be measured from those of the rest of the sample—a consideration that becomes more important when the fraction of the measured species the lower. Each method, tool, or instrument has its own characteristic abilities, and the choice of the best one can be quite involved.


  • spectrometry;
  • electrochemical analysis;
  • chromatography;
  • electrophoresis;
  • thermal methods;
  • gravimetry;
  • titration;
  • kinetic methods;
  • neutron activation analysis