Sample (material)

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Samples of different Rosé Wines in glass tubes showing range of colours available.
Sampling cock to take samples of crystal suspension in vacuum pans in the sugar industry

In general, a sample is a limited quantity of something which is intended to be similar to and represent a larger amount of that thing(s).[1] The things could be countable objects such as individual items available as units for sale, or an uncountable material. Even though the word "sample" implies a smaller quantity taken from a larger amount, sometimes full biological or mineralogical specimens are called samples if they are taken for analysis, testing, or investigation like other samples.[2] An act of obtaining a sample is called "sampling,"[3] which can be performed manually by a person or via an automated method. Samples of material can be taken or provided for testing, analysis, investigation, quality control, demonstration, or trial use. Sometimes, sampling may be continuously ongoing.[4][5]

In the field of science, a representative liquid sample taken from a larger amount of liquid is sometimes called an "aliquot."[6]

Sample characteristics[edit]

The material may be solid, liquid, gas; a material of some intermediate characteristics such as gel or sputum, tissue, and organisms; or a combination of these. Even if a material sample is not countable as individual items, the quantity of the sample may still be describable in terms of its volume, mass, size, or other such dimensions. A solid sample can come in one or a few discrete pieces, or it can be fragmented, granular, or powdered.[7] A section of a rod, wire, cord, sheeting, or tubing may be considered a sample. Samples which are not a solid piece are commonly kept in a container of some sort.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ O'Toole, M.T., ed. (2011). Mosby's Medical Dictionary (9th ed.). Elsevier Mosby. p. 1592. ISBN 9780323085410. 
  2. ^ Elliott, J.E. (1984). "Collecting and Archiving Wildlife Specimens in Canada". In Lewis, R.A.; Stein, N.; Lewis, C.W. Environmental Specimen Banking and Monitoring as Related to Banking. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. pp. 45–66. ISBN 0898386217. 
  3. ^ Department of Defense; Department of Energy; Environmental Protection Agency; Nuclear Regulatory Commission (2000). "Chapter 7: Sampling and Preparation for Laboratory Measurements". Multi-Agency Radiation Survey and Site Investigation Manual (MARSSIM) (PDF). Nuclear Regulatory Commission. p. 7-1. Retrieved 5 July 2018. Sampling is the process of collecting a portion of an environmental medium as representative of the locally remaining medium. 
  4. ^ Gruiz, K.; Meggyes, T.; Fenyvesi, É., ed. (2016). Engineering Tools for Environmental Risk Management - 3: Site Assessment and Monitoring Tools. CRC Press. p. 43. ISBN 9781315778761. 
  5. ^ Hazelton, C. (1998). "Variations between Continuous and Spot‐Sampling Techniques in Monitoring a Change in River‐Water Quality". Water and Environment Journal. 12 (2): 124–9. doi:10.1111/j.1747-6593.1998.tb00161.x. 
  6. ^ McNaught, A.D.; Wilkinson, A., ed. (2008). "aliquot". Compendium of Chemical Terminology (2nd ed.). Blackwell Scientific Publications. p. A00218. doi:10.1351/goldbook.A00218. ISBN 0967855098. Retrieved 5 July 2018. 
  7. ^ Cullum, B.M.; Vo-Dinh, T. (2014). "Chapter 1: Preparation of Liquid and Solid Samples". In Gauglitz, G.; Moore, D.S. Handbook of Spectroscopy (2nd, Enlarged ed.). Wiley. pp. 3–14. doi:10.1002/9783527654703.ch1. ISBN 9783527654703.