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Quantitative and Qualitative

Key Questions

  • Qualitative methods usually make a YES/NO determination of some type, whereas quantitative methods provide a numerical estimate of a quantity, including uncertainties.

    For example, a qualitative test for the presence of lead make cause a solution to turn yellow if a significant quantity of lead ions is present in solution, whereas a quantitative test might say that lead is present in a sample at a concentration of #2.6 +- 0.5# mg/L.