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Issue 24, 2015
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Sampling theory and sampling uncertainty


We make a chemical measurement mostly to help make a rational decision about a ‘target’, a particular mass of material that is of interest in manufacturing, commerce, human health, or for cultural purposes. A target might comprise for example a shipment of a raw material, a batch of a manufactured product, the topsoil in a brown-field site, or a patient's blood. Chemical analysis, like all measurement, gives rise to an inevitable degree of uncertainty in the result. But you can seldom analyse a whole target—you have to work on a sample—and sampling introduces its own uncertainty. All of this uncertainty should be taken into account in decision making.

Graphical abstract: Sampling theory and sampling uncertainty

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Article information

17 Nov 2015
First published
24 Nov 2015

Anal. Methods, 2015,7, 10085-10087
Article type
AMC Technical Brief

Sampling theory and sampling uncertainty

Analytical Methods Committee, AMCTB No. 71, Anal. Methods, 2015, 7, 10085
DOI: 10.1039/C5AY90098K

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