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Author Archives: Mary Jane Simpson

Bunsen Burner

Tips: Turn on the gas just before lighting your match; Turn off the gas to extinguish the flame; Ensure tubing is not going to catch on fire, ideally, tape it down.


There are two types of filtration used in CHEM 103. Follow the links to learn more about filtration techniques: Gravity filtration Vacuum filtration


Spectrophotometers contain a white light source, a diffraction grating, and a slit to select a specific wavelength. The selected wavelength of light passes through a sample, and any light that is absorbed is quantified as the absorbance. The absorbance range is 0 (no light absorbed) to 1 or more (lots of light absorbed). According to […]

Quantitative Analysis of Kool-Aid

Learning Goals Practice using volumetric flasks and graduated cylinders; Prepare solutions from solids and calculate the concentration; Prepare solutions from stock solutions and calculate the concentration; Practice using a spectrophotometer and identify limitations to this instrument; Discover Beer’s Law. Introduction In everyday life, you have probably noticed that color is often indicative of chemistry. For […]

The Law of Multiple Proportions

Written by S. Sontum, D. Copeland, and K. Jewett. Edited by R. Sandwick, M. J. Simpson, and R. Bunt Learning Goals Demonstrate safe handling of hazardous chemicals; Practice writing a hypothesis based on Atomic theory, and write a conclusion based on the hypothesis; Practice using a thistle tube; Generate hydrogen gas and then use it […]

The Discovery of Eka-Silicon

Learning Goals Practice using an analytical balance; Practice using a graduated cylinder; Apply significant figures rules to experimental calculations; Perform linear regression. Introduction When Dmitri Mendeleev published the first periodic table, he arranged the elements to illustrate their periodic trends. Many elements that we know of today had not been discovered yet (Note: scientists continue to discover […]

Tie Dye

Note: Plan on dressing in old clothes for this lab. These dyes are powerful and may permanently stain your clothes if you splash or drip them on yourself. Part 1: Prepare cotton for tie dye (Hint: If you read through these instructions before coming to lab, plan on completing this step before the pre-lab discussion to […]


Learning Goals Construct hybrid molecular orbital diagrams and connect this theory with properties of molecules; Perform computational chemistry calculations to form a theoretical basis for an experiment; Prepare solutions via serial dilutions; Explore limitations in measurements made with the spectrophotometer and analytical, including the differences between absorbance measurements and percent transmittance measurements; Introduction The sun […]

Identification of an unknown volatile liquid

Learning Goals Use bomb calorimetry to measure heat of reaction; Use a thermometer and analyze the limitations of thermometry; Observe changes in phases of matter and consider the challenges associated with volatile substances; Apply the ideal gas law and analyze the limitations of using the ideal gas law in an experiment; Synthesize a simple procedure […]

Separation of a mixture

Learning Goals Employ several common separation techniques and analyze limitations of those techniques; Practice decantation and gravity filtration; Use a graduated pipette and an erlenmeyer flask; Observe a precipitation reaction and the formation of a crystalline solid; Use notions of stoichiometry to calculate reaction yield; Use a drying oven and analyze limitations of the drying […]