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Category Archives: Experiments

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 […]

Significant Figures Lab

Learning goals:  follow instructions to complete a chemistry experiment, collect and analyze experimental data, explain likely sources of experimental error, work collaboratively with a lab partner. Introduction Rules about significant figures may seem arbitrary from a theoretical standpoint, but in the laboratory you will see that they allow you to determine the precision of your […]

Enthalpy of Solution

Introduction The magic of hot and cold packs lies in the chemical reactions inside; they undergo a dramatic temperature change after an activation step. You may have noticed in previous experiments that sometimes dissolving a salt makes a solution warm, other times it will make the solution cold. This property of salts is the basis for many commercial […]

Colors, Part I: Absorption

Learning goals: work collaboratively with a lab partner, collect and analyze experimental data, formulate a logical conclusion based on experimental data 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. Introduction Color vision provides a window […]

Estimation of Avogadro’s Number

Introduction Atoms and molecules are incredible tiny and weigh hardly anything, so scientists usually count them in terms of moles, which is 6.022140857 x 1023 particles. Why? For the same reason that we measure distance in terms of miles and donuts in terms of dozens: when you are counting to big numbers, it is easier […]