Analytical Chemistry is the oldest branch of Chemistry and is the foundation block on which other branches, namely, inorganic, organic, physical and biochemistry have grown to their present level. Understanding of these branches would not have been possible without an understanding and application of principles of Analytical chemistry. It has provided us a glimpse of matter from simple atomic structures to complex molecules to comprehend properties based on structural arrangements. We have gained insight into the origin and evolution of the Universe and life on our own planet through application of analytical techniques. An understanding of composition has contributed to improvement of material characteristics of natural resources and industrial materials to the benefit of mankind. Today we cannot think of even a single product of commercial use which has not been tested using analytical chemistry techniques before clearance for consumption.
Earliest studies were mainly concerned with understanding the composition of environment and natural resources based on classical methods of analysis. Classical Analysis also known as Wet Chemistry introduced quantitative studies and to this day forms the backbone of most university and industrial laboratories. Earliest techniques were by and large gravimetric in nature with the objective of determination of elemental composition. Titration methods evolved subsequently for acid-base and metals analysis of solutions. Instrumental analysis complimented traditional analysis with speed and accuracy. Instrumental analysis evolved into several specialized areas such as Spectroscopy, Chromatography, Imaging analysis for surface profiling, Electronalytical studies and Thermal methods of analysis. Each specialized area provided wealth of information on a sample. In the recent past combination or hyphenated techniques evolved extending the capabilities of either of the combination techniques. Analytical Chemistry is poised to make even greater contributions to betterment of life and understanding of new materials. It will lead the way to development of new materials having desired features and detection at levels which could not be imagined before.