Course Perspective - Some Perspective on Quantitative...

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1 Some Perspective on Quantitative Analysis Laboratory I. General Laboratory Directions The general purpose of this laboratory is to promote proficiency and familiarity with some common techniques of chemical analysis, especially with their particular abilities and shortcomings. While the problems and methods are those of classical wet chemistry, augmented with chromatography and spectrophotometry, the approaches of equilibrium, kinetics, and stoichiometry are general for all chemical analyses. In lab, you will have "hands-on" experience with a number of specific analyses. These have been selected with 3 goals in mind: 1. Workability – you should be able to succeed. 2. Utility – These are real techniques that are frequently performed in working analytical laboratories, for example, in clinical or police labs. While you may never perform another titration after you finish quant., you may well have occasion to submit samples for analysis. The experience you gain in this course should let you know what to expect from such an analysis - and what not to expect. 3. Representative – The 8 labs you will do are certainly not exhaustively representative of the techniques of analytical chemistry. However the concepts introduced, and the kind of thinking required, are common to all analytical techniques. It will be necessary for you to consider what interferes with a particular analysis, and what steps may be taken to avoid interferences. For the last lab, you'll even have the opportunity to design your own procedure. The laboratory in conjunction with the lectures, should provide a good general feeling for the terms "accuracy" and "precision." It is important to know ahead of time what accuracy and precision are needed for an analysis, and then select a technique (or devise one, if necessary) that is appropriate. An analyst's time in industry is charged out at something like $100 an hour (that's not the salary, unfortunately). A company would quickly lose patience with an analyst or a researcher who does not know, almost intuitively, how much analysis is needed, and what kind! It is hoped that you will develop some of that kind of intuition as you move through the course. Because this kind of understanding is an important goal of this course, you should expect that it will take more than extensive memorization to "ace" the course. If you memorize formulas and procedures, and do a respectable job in the lab, you will probably get by OK. However, you will take little except your grade with you when you finish. On the other hand, if you put forth the little extra effort necessary to understand the material, you will leave with a better idea of how to approach problems, not only of analysis, but also of research in particular and life in general. Besides, if you understand the material, you will find you need to memorize less. The heart of quantitative technique is to carry a sample through one or more physical and chemical
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This note was uploaded on 01/06/2011 for the course CHEM 223 taught by Professor Scheeline during the Fall '08 term at University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

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Course Perspective - Some Perspective on Quantitative...

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