Forensic Chemistry encompasses numerous disciplines including paint analysis, arson and fire debris investigations, explosives analysis, fibre and textile testing as well as the subdiscipline of toxicology, the study of drugs and poisons. Forensic chemists use a myriad of technologies, such as gas chromatography, liquid chromatography and mass spectroscopy to determine the quantity and quality of various organic and inorganic substances that comprise evidence in criminal, civil and regulatory legal matters.
Forensic biology spans a multitude of applications of biological evidence, such as blood and other body fluids, hairs, botanical remains, microbes and insects, to criminal, civil and regulatory law investigations and prosecutions. Biological evidence is particularly valuable to the justice system due to the presence of DNA and the ability to associate such evidence with an individual or species, and to do so with a statistically relevant degree of reliability. Forensic biologists analyze DNA using technologies such as real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) quantitation, short tandem repeat (STR) analysis and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis, and assess the weight of evidence referring to principles of statistical analysis and population genetics.
The discipline of forensic physics describes the application of the scientific study of matter, motion and energy to forensic investigations of many types, including blood stain pattern analysis, ballistics, accident reconstruction, metal strength and damage analysis, optical and acoustic analyses, as well as tracing radioactive materials and sources of nuclear weapons. An emerging field in this specialization is the forensic analysis of digital, electronic and multimedia evidence, with applications not only in criminal, civil and regulatory cases, but also in corporate and national security.