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What is analytical chemistry?

We explain what analytical chemistry is and what this branch of chemistry focuses on. In addition, the analytical methods it uses.

  1. What is analytical chemistry?

It is called a branch of chemistry that focuses on the understanding of matter , that is, the analysis of the materials that make up a sample, using experimental or laboratory methods.

This branch is divided into quantitative analytical chemistry (quantity) and qualitative analytical chemistry (quality) , that is: the analysis that measures the proportion of matter in the object studied, and the analysis of the type of elements that compose it.

The knowledge that gave rise to analytical chemistry arose from the modern idea of ​​the chemical composition of matter , which emerged in the 18th century.

An important milestone in the development of this discipline was the understanding of the correlation between the physical properties of matter and its chemical composition. In this, the study of spectroscopy, electrochemistry and polarography were fundamental.

However, the invention of chemical analysis methods that would allow a more thorough understanding of the subject would advance along with scientific and technological development, so that the general characteristics of the field of analytical chemistry would be defined only in the twentieth century.

Analytical chemistry uses the following analytical methods to understand the subject:

  • Titrimetric methods . Known as titration, it is a quantitative method in which a reagent is used whose concentration is known, to determine that of another reagent whose concentration is unknown, by a controlled chemical reaction.
  • Gravimetric methods . Quantitative method that uses a weight or balance to measure the force with which gravity attracts the radicals or radicals present in a compound. It can be done by precipitation, volatilization or electrodeposition.
  • Spectrometric methods  . Using devices to measure the behavior of electromagnetic radiation (light) in contact with the substance or compound being analyzed.
  • Methods  electroanalytical . Similar to the spectrometric, but using electricity instead of light to measure the electrical potential or the electric current transmitted by the substance.
  • Methods  Chromatographic . A set of phase separation techniques that are based on the partition coefficient of the elements that make up a substance, measuring the amount of different matter it possesses.

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