1988 - Gary M. Hieftje

Analytical Chemistry From Fundamentals to Applications

Science is often thought to proceed in a straightforward fashion from theoretical principles to practical understanding. Indeed, a number of examples can be cited where the direct application of fundamentals leads to the solution of a pressing problem, However, in other situations, possible more numerous, a demanding problem is solved empirically and only later does a theoretical underpinning for the empirical solution develop.

In this presentation, examples will be taken from the field of analytical chemistry to show how this bi-directional interaction occurs and how it can be beneficial. In fact, in some situations, a cyclic interaction occurs between the discovery of fundamental characteristics about systems, measurements, or molecular interactions that can lead to important applications which,. in turn, require a more complete characterization of fundamental features. Importantly, instrumentation often plays an important part in the cyclic process and can be viewed almost as a chemical catalyst in the enhancement it provides.