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A Primer for Sampling Solids, Liquids, and Gases: Based on the Seven Sampling Errors of Pierre GyA Primer for Sampling Solids, Liquids, and Gases: Based on the Seven Sampling Errors of Pierre Gy

Patricia L. Smith

ASA-SIAM Series on Statistics and Applied Probability 8

How does a marble manufacturer know that the color will be consistent throughout the products being made? How can you tell if liquid at the bottom of a container is the same consistency as at the top? How does a pellet manufacturer know if the pellets are consistently the same size? How does a chemical manufacturer know if the percent purity in a sample is representative of the whole batch? These and similar questions are answered in A Primer for Sampling Solids, Liquids, and Gases: Based on the Seven Sampling Errors of Pierre Gy.

Statisticians are well trained in sampling techniques if the sample is well defined. Examples of such samples include industrial parts in manufacturing, invoices in business processes, and people in surveys. However, what if the sampling unit isn't well defined? What if you are sampling bulk material such as a pile of coal? Author Patricia L. Smith illustrates what to look for in sampling devices and procedures to obtain correct samples from bulk materials. She gives sampling guidelines that can be applied immediately and shows how to analyze protocols to uncover sampling problems.

Smith presents the ideas of Pierre Gy in lay terms so that his concepts and principles can be easily grasped and applied. She conveys Gy's intuitive meaning while preserving his original ideas. Synonyms have been used for some technical terms to avoid confusion.

Special Features

  • Presents Pierre Gy's approach to sampling bulk material---whether solid, liquid, or gas.
  • Gives basic principles that can be applied to any bulk sampling situation.
  • Uses everyday language and intuitive explanations.
  • Gives examples of simple experiments that readers can perform on their own to understand the principles.
  • Includes a brief summary after each chapter for easy reference.


This concise handbook is written for the sampling practitioner and is designed to serve as a guide to using Gy's principles in day-to-day applications in the field. It also serves as an overview and introduction to Gy's theory from which a more detailed study can be launched. Graduate students in courses on sampling, as well as consultants in statistics, environmental science, and industrial or chemical engineering, will find this book valuable.


Preface; Foreword by Francis F. Pitard; List of Terms and Symbols; Chapter 1: Some Views of Sampling; Chapter 2: The Material: Sampling and Material Variation; Chapter 3: The Tools and Techniques: Sampling, Sample Collection, and Sample Handling; Chapter 4: The Process: Sampling and Process Variation; Chapter 5: A Strategy: Putting Theory Into Practice; Appendix A: Introduction to Gy's Seven Sampling Errors; Appendix B: The Variance of the Fundamental Error; Appendix C: Obtaining a Sequential Random Sample; Appendix D: Calculation of the Variogram; Appendix E: Experiments; Appendix F: Sampling Safely; References; Index.

2001 / xx + 96 pages / Hardcover / ISBN-13: 978-0-898714-73-9 / ISBN-10: 0-89871-473-7 /
List Price $66.50 / ASA/SIAM Member Price $46.55 / Order Code SA08
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Banner art adapted from a figure by Hinke M. Osinga and Bernd Krauskopf (University of Auckland, NZ.)