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Studies & Degrees in Physical-Chemical Methods of Analysis

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A study in this field targets two specific areas of expertise;
  • Firstly, the processes involved in analyzing compounds, materials and objects for their unique qualities and characteristics.
  • These chemical methods of analysis aim to completely define all properties of a substance (from light reflection to radioactivity) and determine how much of a known substance may exist in a mixture. Physical methods of analysis aim to analyze physical properties of substances, such as structure, shape, size and density. The methods often go hand-in-hand when researching new substances or defining current ones.
This study is heavily based in advanced scientific fields, so it is unlikely to find a thorough course of this study anywhere aside from an accredited university, college or technical school. Science institutes, or even institutes of chemistry, are the most ideal places to pursue this study.
It is extremely unlikely to find a study major that is specifically engineered for physical-chemical methods of analysis. Far more likely, students will need to study advanced physics and chemistry, perhaps as a double major. A generic chemistry major will usually cover most, though not all, types of analytical processes falling under this study.
Skills, Qualifications, and Prerequisites for Studies in Physical-Chemical Methods of Analysis
The study of physical-chemical analytical methods can only be fully pursued at higher education institutions, so applicants must meet the admission requirements to these schools. This usually involves at least a secondary school completion certification, as well as a passing score on a standard local, national, or institutional aptitude test.
Possible future analysts in this field should already possess a high intelligence and passion for scientific studies. Patience and dedication is required, due to the long, sometimes repetitive nature of testing and evaluating. Candidates should have the ability to work well on a research team, effective communicate skills and the ability to record data promptly, clearly and correctly.
Extreme attention to detail is essential, not only for the scientific work itself (which usually involves in-depth, detailed examinations) but in areas of personal safety. Hazardous substances are sometimes analyzed, so great care must be taken to be careful, cautious and safe.
Skills and Qualifications Acquired from Studies in Physical-Chemical Methods of Analysis
Physical and chemical methods of analysis will typically instruct students on how to perform these skills and identify the following chemical and physical features:
  • Volume, solubility and structure of materials.
  • Physical properties of matter (size, shape, etc.)
  • Process of taking and preparing samples.
  • Preparation and use of laboratory analysis equipment.
  • Chemical properties, characteristics and composition of materials.
  • Determination of chemical content (PH level, etc.).
  • Determination of chemical level in mixtures.
  • Equipment use and safety measures in chemical tests.
  • Use of spectrophotometers and other visual analytical methods.
  • Use of electrical analytic methods (polarography, etc.).
  • Use of infrared, X-ray and thermal technology.
Students will have to study advanced physics and chemistry, along with areas like biophysics and thermodynamics.
Careers for Studies in Physical-Chemical Methods of Analysis
Physical-chemical analysts are used in a wide variety of employment areas. Private manufacturing companies, international corporations and government agencies employ these analysts in the development and testing of future products (ranging from hardware to food to oil). Graduates can work in environmental concerns, testing materials for impurities; assessing damage; developing environment-friendly products, or measuring the impact of multiple factors on the environment.
Research labs in pharmaceutics, agriculture, transportation and even military technology all employ physical-chemical analysts. These analytical studies may also be paired with other courses to prepare students for careers as doctors or forensic scientists.