Before going fully into the clarification of the meaning of the aliquot term, what we are going to do is discover its etymological origin. In this case, we can indicate that it derives from Latin, more specifically from the word “aliquot”, which can be translated as “certain number of”. This, in turn, is the result of the sum of two clearly differentiated parts: “alius”, which means “other”, and “quot”, which is “how much”.
Aliquot is an adjective that refers to what is proportional: that is, it is linked to a proportion (the correspondence that exists between the parts of something or between said parts and the whole).
The most common use of the aliquot concept is linked to the aliquot part, which is in charge of accurately measuring the whole (the whole is divided equally). An aliquot, therefore, is a part of the total.
In one of the moments when the aliquot term is used the most is when someone has died and their lawyer and notary are going to take care of the distribution of their inheritance. In that case, it is established that it will be divided into aliquots and each of these will correspond to one of its heirs.
In this way, it is established that, as a general rule, what usually happens with the wealth left by someone who has died is that they proceed to divide aliquots in part. What this means is that they are equal and proportional portions.
The aliquot idea is frequently used in the field of economics, more precisely in relation to taxes or tributes. Aliquots are proportions that are established through laws to determine a tax obligation.
In Argentina, for example, many products are subject to Value Added Tax (VAT). The VAT rate, at a general level, is 21%. In this way, a manufacturer must add 21% as VAT to the price established for its products.
A producer decides a price of 50 pesos for a pair of pants. When offering the product to the public, add the VAT rate (21%). Therefore, the buyer must pay 60.5 pesos (the 50 pesos of the price plus the 10.5 pesos of VAT).
In laboratories, the notion of aliquot is used with reference to the part of a mass or volume that is taken to perform a test. The properties of that aliquot must represent the properties of the total substance.
A solution of 1 liter may be divided into four aliquots of 250 milliliters (0.25 liters). Each of these aliquots must have the same chemical and physical properties as the original sample.
As a general rule, within this scientific field when you are going to take an aliquot that is something that is done with a pipette that is properly graduated. In this way, the necessary and appropriate measure will be achieved.
Furthermore, in this case, we must underline the existence of different types of aliquots, such as, for example, solid aliquots and liquid aliquots, etc.