Nature 162, 474-474 (25 September 1948) | doi:10.1038/162474a0

Qualitative Analysis by Spot Tests, Inorganic and Organic Applications



ONE of the most striking features of recent developments in qualitative and quantitative analysis has been the increasing use made of micro-or semimicro-methods. This is not, indeed, a modern branch of analysis ; some of the old masters worked with very small quantities of materials. Wollaston’s laboratory, we are told, consisted at one time of a tray containing watch-glasses, a blowpipe, and similar unimpressive objects, and when he had occasion to need a little calcium phosphate for a blowpipe test, he supplied it by scrapings of an ivory paper-knife. Berzelius created nearly all the chemistry of vanadium with a few grams of material. The so-called spot test, with which the present treatise deals, is also an old friend to most chemists ; the use of test-papers and of an external indicator in titrations are examples of its early use.