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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 15 (2010) pp 100-102

Linear Regression and Error Analysis for Calibration Curves and Standard Additions: An Excel Spreadsheet Exercise for Undergraduates

Eugene T. Smith,* Eugene A. Belogay, and Terje Hõim

Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, Florida Atlantic University, Jupiter, FL 33458
Received November 20, 2008. Accepted September 2, 2009.

Published: 27 January 2010

Abstract. An Excel spreadsheet exercise appropriate for undergraduate analytical chemistry students is described. The goal is for students to use Excel to calculate linear regressions for both a basic calibration curve and a standard addition, as well as to determine confidence intervals associated with these measurements. Templates are provided to the students that allow them to explore how the slope, intercept and noise influence the uncertainty of a measurement. Students learn not only how a linear regression is calculated, but also how to construct a calibration curve that minimizes uncertainty. It is assumed that the reader has some familiarity with this spreadsheet software, and that their students have been introduced to basic statistical terms.

Key Words: Computers in Chemistry; general chemistry; analytical chemistry

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (223 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

Instructor notes, a student handout, and Excel workbooks are available online. The supplements were prepared with Microsoft Word (2003) and Excel (2003 and 2007). Answers to the sample questions in the Student Handout are provided at the  end  of  the  Instructor  Notes.  The  Excel  workbooks  are explained in detail in the Instructor Notes. (741 KB)

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