Every chapter begins with a real world application and interesting Profile boxes punctuate each chapter at key points. The Profiles are designed to answer the “so what” and “who cares” questions often asked by students.


This text will include Activity boxes which enable a student to recreate a physical phenomenon or to build a working instrument component using easily obtainable materials. Activities were designed for students to perform outside of the classroom; however, they would also be suitable as classroom demonstrations or assignable as small group activities.

Worked Examples

Several worked-out examples are included in every chapter. Worked Examples walk the student through key calculations and/or exercises steo-by-step. Each Worked Example box is followed by several related exercises to help the student gain expertise and confidence. Additional exercises are also included at the end of each chapter.

Compare and Contrast Boxes

Compare and Contrast boxes are strategically placed to facilitate a direct comparison of several different instrumental techniques. This feature was specifically designed to help the student understand the different trade-offs one makes when choosing one technique over another. Often the Compare and Contrast feature is presented as a table that allows for direct comparison of such things as, resolution, speed of analysis, detection limits, purchase cost, operation cost, maintenance cost, sample preparation time, and destructive vs. non-destructive analysis. At other times, the Compare and Contrast feature is presented as a Venn diagram that highlights the similarities and differences in an instrument’s design and/or utility. In all instances, Compare and Contrast is intended to prompt students to think critically about the similarities and differences of techniques as they move from one section to another.


Exercises reinforcing key concepts are strategically placed within the chapter in close proximity to the concept they are meant to reinforce. Additional Exercises are included at the end of each chapter and offer an opportunity for further reinforcement of key ideas.

Further Reading

Each chapter ends with a bibliography of influential texts and/or journal articles pertaining to that topic.