Chemistry is the study of matter, including its composition, structure, physical properties, and reactivity. There are many approaches to studying chemistry, but, for convenience, we traditionally divide it into five fields: organic, inorganic, physical, biochemical, and analytical. Although this division is historical and arbitrary, as witnessed by the current interest in interdisciplinary areas such as bioanalytical and organometallic chemistry, these five fields remain the simplest division spanning the discipline of chemistry.
Training in each of these fields provides a unique perspective to the study of chemistry. Undergraduate chemistry courses and textbooks are more than a collection of facts; they are a kind of apprenticeship. In keeping with this spirit, this text introduces the field of analytical chemistry and the unique perspectives that analytical chemists bring to the study of chemistry.