Pennies Laboratory

Pennies Laboratory - Studio Chemistry Fall 2007 Group...

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Studio Chemistry Fall 2007 Group Exercise and Lab: Measurement and data analysis (this activity appears originally at http://www.umich.edu/~chemstu/syllabus/syllabus.htm and is used in this course with permission of the authors) 1) Apply the scientific model (hypothesis, testing, and evaluation) in response to a question 2) Examine options for data analysis and presentation 3) Review units of measurement and unit conversion Background : The composition of a US penny has undergone changes in design and composition over the years. The US one cent coin was issued with an Indian Head on the front from 1859 until 1909. 1 (Figure 1a) The first Lincoln cent was produced in 1909 and had the wheat ears pattern on the reverse side from 1909 until 1958.(Figure 1b and 1c) In 1959 the wheat ears were replaced with the "Memorial reverse". 2 (Figure 1d) Figure 1: The many faces of a US penny 3 From 1793 to 1837, pennies were made from pure copper. From 1837 to 1857, the cent was made of bronze (95 % copper, 5% tin and zinc). From 1857 to 1864, the cent was 88% copper and 12% nickel, giving the coin a whitish appearance. The cent was again bronze from 1864 to 1962. (Note: In 1943, the coin's composition was changed to zinc-coated steel. This change was only for the year 1943 and was due to the critical use of copper for the war effort. 4 In 1962, the composition of a penny changed again…. . Questions: I. Has the composition of a post-1962 penny remained constant through 2006? II. What is/are the composition/s of post-1962 pennies? 1 http://www.sammler.com/coins/indian_head.htm (Accessed April 2005) 2 http://www.sammler.com/coins/wheat_pennies.htm#1940 (Accessed April 2005) 3 Pictures courtesy of : http://www.sammler.com/coins/indian_head.htm#1864 , http://www.sammler.com/coins/wheat_pennies.htm & www.lookaround123.com/ lapnntrv.htm 4
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Pennies Laboratory - Studio Chemistry Fall 2007 Group...

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