Forensic Chemistry and a Forensic Chemist

Topics: Chemistry, Forensic science, Chromatography Pages: 4 (1251 words) Published: February 11, 2013
Forensic Chemistry and Forensic Chemist
Forensic chemistry is becoming an increasingly popular topic. It is being used quite often in the real world with police investigations, cases, and is also being magnified in television shows including Forensic Files, CSI, and Bones (What is Forensic Chemistry?). Forensic chemistry is important because without it we wouldn’t know the outcome of a crime. The forensic chemist’s job is to examine evidence given to them from a crime scene, when it happened, and even who committed the crime at times (What is Forensic Chemistry?). Forensic chemistry deals with the chemical analysis of a variety of types of physical evidence. These include glass fragments, suspected accelerants from arson debris, gunshot residue on the hands of a shooter, blood stains, fibers, drugs, and even samples of hair. The cases that forensic chemists usually find themselves involved with are arsons, homicides, assaults, bank robberies, and vandalism (Division of Toxicological and Forensic Science Services). Forensic chemists expertise is needed to help crack cases and without forensic chemistry we would not be able to prosecute or convict as many people as we have been able to (Grolier Incorporated).

A forensic chemist is defined as a professional chemist who analyzes evidence that is brought in from crime scenes and reaches a conclusion based on test run on that piece of evidence. A forensic chemist’s job is to identify and characterize the evidence as part of a larger process of solving a crime (Forensic Chemistry). Job Description for a Forensic Chemist:

Forensic chemists apply knowledge from diverse disciplines such as chemistry, biology, material science, and genetics to the analysis of evidence found at crime scenes or on/in the bodies of crime suspects. The field is a combination of criminalistics and analytical toxicology. Criminalistics is the qualitative examination of evidence using methods such as microscopy and spot testing, whereas...

Cited: "Division of Toxicological and Forensic Science Services." 09 Jan. 2011 <>.
"Forensic Chemists." American Chemical Society - The world 's largest scientific society. 09 Jan. 2011 <>.
The new book of knowledge. Danbury, CT: Grolier Incorporated, 2001.
"What is Forensic Chemistry?" WiseGEEK: clear answers for common questions. 12 Jan. 2011 <>.
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