Key words Traceability
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Abstract By the definition of the mole as a base unit for amount-of-substance measures within the International System of Units (SI), chemists can make chemical measurements in full compliance with established metrological principles. Since the mole requires exact knowledge of the chemical entity, which is often neither available nor of practical relevance to the purpose of the measurement, the SI units of mass or length (for volume) are unavoidable in the expression of results of many chemical measurements. Science, technology, and trade depend upon a huge and ever increasing number and variety of chemical determinations to quantify material composition and quality. Thus, international harmonization in the assessments of processes, procedures, and results is highly desirable and clearly cost effective. The authors, with relevant experience and responsibilities in Europe and America, have found some consensus in the interpretation of the metrological principles for chemical measurements, but believe open discussion should precede wide implementation by chemical communities. In fostering this dialogue, this paper shows, for instance, that more precise interpretation of the definitions for "traceability," "calibration," and "validation" is needed for present-day chemical measurements. Problems that face scientists in making measurements do not all vanish just by adherence to the SI. However, such compliance can improve communication among chemists and metrologists.
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