Standards are materials containing a known concentration of an analyte. They provide a reference to determine unknown concentrations or to calibrate analytical instruments. The accuracy of an analytical measurement is how close a result comes to the true value. Determining the accuracy of a measurement usually requires calibration of the analytical method with a known standard. This is often done with standards of several concentrations to make a calibration or working curve. A primary standard is a reagent that is extremely pure, stable, has no waters of hydration, and has a high molecular weight. A secondary standard is a standard that is prepared in the laboratory for a specific analysis. It is usually standardized against a primary standard.
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