A315: Chemical Measurements Laboratory
Chemical Measurement Laboratory (A315) teaches chemists the techniques of chemical
measurement and introduces them to the tools of measurement science. A315 is:
1) application of the proper tool and the correct procedure to the
relevant measurement problem,
2) description of the measurement and its quality to those who did not
perform the experiment, and
3) development of analytical intuition.
The goal of A315 is to teach you to begin thinking like an experimental chemist. In this course,
you will become familiar with important tools, techniques, and procedures of experimental
chemistry. The experiments are not "cookbook" oriented, but are designed to test your
understanding of concepts and procedures. Each experiment builds upon the chemical experience
that you gained in previous lecture and lab courses. Each experiment will require constant
evaluation on your part as you proceed in the laboratory. Each will require outside reading. Most
importantly, each will require proper preparation before the laboratory session begins.
A315 will require a great deal of your time. This arises because each of the experiments is new
to you. You will use the general principles learned in A315 whether you find yourself in an
industrial laboratory, or in graduate or professional school. The tools of A315 are the same tools
used in advanced chemical and medical research. Along with the methods of research,
considerable emphasis is placed on the ability to prepare laboratory reports and to master the
skills of scientific reporting and explanation.
In the past many students have used the book by Stephen Brewer, "Solving Problems in
Analytical Chemistry”, John Wiley, NY, 1980. It is a practical guide to many of the experiments
of A315, with sections on Beer's Law, gas chromatography, high performance liquid
chromatography, and spectrophotometric measurements. It also provides a brief review of
statistics and stoichiometry. Reviews of the instrumental aspects of the experiments are available
in Peters, Hayes, and Hieftje (PHH), Willard, Merritt, Dean, and Settle (WMDS), and Skoog,
Holler, and Nieman. Neither lecture nor lab reviews the principles of solution preparation, serial
dilutions, or general statistics, all of which should be familiar to you from your previous courses.
The following general analytical chemistry texts are on reserve in the Chemistry Library:
1) S. Brewer, Solving Problems in Analytical Chemistry, John Wiley, NY, 1980.