Instrumental Analysis (I.A.) is the study of how chemical instrumentation can be used to advance the human senses. It is a sub-discipline of analytical chemistry that symbiotically explores how analytical instrumentation can be used to make analyses while also examining the underlying principles of an instrument’s operation. Along with the rapid advancement of digital technology, I. A. has undergone its own transformative revolution.
The tools available to today’s analyst are relatively robust, compact and mobile compared to the instrumental tools available in past decades.
Several field-deployable instruments that once filled complete laboratories can now be carried around in the trunk of a car.
We framed our discussion of I.A. with an introductory chapter titled “The Analyst’s Toolbox” and in order to remain consistent with that theme, we were careful to discuss each subsequent technique in the context of the overall collection of tools an analyst must use and master in order to solve a puzzle. We took care to introduce instruments in terms of their long-standing utility and we discussed their construction and usage from this perspective as well. When applicable, we also provided examples of commercially available miniaturized and/or field-deployable versions of key instrument types and placed these within the “Analyst’s Toolbox” as well.
To help the instructor engage the student we included several Profiles and Activities. These Profiles and Activities demonstrate the application of each technique in a “real world” setting. The Profiles are designed to capture the student’s imagination by showing the student how, and in what context, these instruments are used and the Activities are used to demystify the underlying principles. As the textbook progresses, we have also placed several Compare and Contrast sections at key points within the textbook. These Compare and Contrast sections help the student understand the pros and cons of choosing one technique over another; we have also been mindful to include relative costs in the comparisons. Each chapter has several worked out Examples demonstrating the fundamental theories and mechanics underlying each technique. The student is also supported by numerous Exercises interspersed throughout the text with Additional Exercises at the end of each chapter. Lastly, each chapter includes a section titled Further Reading that will prove to be a valuable resource for the more motivated students.
Robert M. Granger, II