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Category Archives: Experiments

Molecular Modeling – Digital and Analog

Learning goals: follow instructions to complete a chemistry experiment, collect experimental data Introduction Models provide a useful way of visualizing the arrangement of electrons in a molecule. As you learned in class, there are several types of structure representations used by the chemist at different times to explain chemical phenomena. Today, we will use 3 […]

Deduction of an empirical formula

Learning Goals Build confidence in yourself as an independent experimentalist; Perform chemical degradation analysis, then use the results to calculate an empirical formula; Use a gravity filtration apparatus; Use a drying oven; Use a Bunsen burner to heat a solid; Observe a redox reaction and a precipitation reaction; Identify sources of uncertainty associated with the […]


Learning Goals Practice using computational chemistry software; Perform flame tests; Use Erlenmeyer flasks to mix solutions; Use a spectroscope to observe atomic emission; Manipulate units of wavelength and energy; Practice writing ground state and excited state electron configurations. Background María Teresa Ruiz is an astronomer born in 1946. In 1997, Ruiz and coworkers discovered a […]

Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow

Learning goals: maintain safety in a chemistry laboratory,  follow instructions to complete a laboratory experiment, collect experimental data, explain likely sources of experimental error Introduction A chemical reaction occurs when electrons and/or bonds rearrange. A chemical reaction can be described with a chemical equation. You may notice a chemical reaction has occurred by one of […]

Tie dye

by M. J. Simpson 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. Tie dye is a classic color chemistry lab. There are many different “recipes” for tie dye, but we will be following the procedure […]

Molecular Modeling – Digital and Analog

adapted by M. J. Simpson from a lab originally by S.F. Sontum, S. Walstrum, and K. Jewett Introduction Theories of chemical bonding allow us to understand the electronic structure and geometrical arrangement of atoms in a molecule or ion. Models provide a useful way of visualizing the arrangement of electrons in a molecule. As you […]

CO2: Enthalpy of Sublimation, Reaction and Metabolism

by S. F. Sontum and K. Jewett (edited by R. Sandwick) Introduction The oxides of carbon could not be more chemically different. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a polar basic gas that binds strongly to metals while carbon dioxide (CO2) is a non-polar gas that reacts with water. Carbon monoxide is produced when hydrocarbons are burned […]

Net Ionic Reactions

adapted by M. J Simpson from a lab originally by S. F. Sontum, K. Jewett and R. Sandwick Learning goals: work collaboratively with a lab partner, follow instructions to complete a chemistry experiment, collect experimental data, formulate logical conclusions based on experimental results Introduction Much as a cook uses recipes to guide her/him in preparing […]

Glucose in Natural Products

Introduction As the world’s most common biomolecule, glucose (C6H12O6) has numerous cellular functions including serving as a metabolic fuel, as a precursor to energy storage molecules such as starch and glycogen, and as a building block molecule to important structural components such as cellulose. Glucose is a simple sugar or monosaccharide, meaning it contains a carbonyl […]

Titration of Citric Acid

Learning Goals Perform a titration and analyze the uncertainties associated with titrations; Employ a color pH indicator; Apply stoichiometry to analyze titration data; Observe an acid-base reaction. by S. Choi, R. Gleason, and K. Jewett (with edits by R. Sandwick and M. J. Simpson) Introduction Citric acid is a polyprotic acid (can release three H+s) […]