Aim of Statistics in Analytical Chemistry:
Modern analytical chemistry is concerned with the detection, identification, and measurement of the chemical composition of unknown substances using existing instrumental techniques, and the development or application of new techniques and instruments. It is a quantitative science, meaning that the desired result is almost always numeric. We need to know that there is 55 μg of mercury in a sample of water, or 20 mM glucose in a blood sample.
Quantitative results are obtained using devices or instruments that allow us to determine the concentration of a chemical in a sample from an observable signal. There is always some variation in that signal over time due to noise and/or drift within the instrument. We also need to calibrate the response as a function of analyte concentration in order to obtain meaningful quantitative data. As a result, there is always an error, a deviation from the true value, inherent in that measurement. One of the uses of statistics in analytical chemistry is therefore to provide an estimate of the likely value of that error; in other words, to establish the uncertainty associated with the measurement.