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Determing Avogadro

Experiment 2: Avogadro and All That


  • To help you become familiar with the layout of the laboratory including safety aids and the equipment that you will be using this year.
  • To make an order-of-magnitude estimate of the size of a carbon atom and of the number of atoms in a mole of carbon, based on simple assumptions about the spreading of a thin film of stearic acid on a water surface


  • Lab Report (90%)
  • TA points (10%)

Before coming to Lab

Read the following:

  • Lab instructions
  • Background Information
  • Concepts of the experiment

Print out the lab instructions and report form.

Read and sign the equipment responsibility form and the safety rules. Email Ms. Duval, at nduval@rice.edu , to confirm completing this requirement by noon on September 14 th size 12{ {} rSup { size 8{"th"} } } {} .


Since chemistry is an empirical (experimental) quantitative science, most of the experiments you will do involve measurement. Over the two semesters, you will measure many different types of quantities – temperature, pH, absorbance, etc. – but the most common quantity you will measure will be the amount of a substance. The amount may be measured by (1) weight or mass (grams), (2) volume (milliliters or liters), or (3) determining the number of moles. In this experiment we will review the methods of measuring mass and volume and the calculations whereby number of moles are determined.

Experimental Procedure

1. Identification of Apparatus

On the tray (in DBH 214) we have a number of different pieces of common equipment. We will, identify and sketch each - I know this may sound a trivial exercise but it is necessary so that we are all on the same page.

  1. beaker
  2. Erlenmeyer flask (conical flask)
  3. side-arm Erlenmeyer flask
  4. graduated (measuring) cylinder
  5. pipettes, both types graduated and bulb
  6. burette
  7. Bunsen burner
  8. test tubes
  9. watch glass
  10. volumetric flask

2. Balance Use

In these general chemistry laboratories, we only use electronic balances – saving you a lot of time. However, it is important that you become adept at using them.

Three aspects of a balance are important:

  1. The on/off switch. This is either on the front of the balance or on the back.
  2. The "Zero" or "Tare" button. This resets the reading to zero.
  3. CLEANLINESS . Before and after using a balance, ensure that the entire assembly is spotless. Dirt on the weighing pan can cause erroneous measurements, and chemicals inside the machine can damage it.

Balance Measurements :

  1. Turn the balance on.
  2. After the display reads zero, place a piece of weighing paper on the pan.
  3. Read and record the mass. (2)
  4. With a spatula, weigh approximately 0.2 g of a solid, common salt NaCl. The excess salt is discarded, since returning it may contaminate the rest of the salt.
  5. Record the mass (1). To determine how much solid you actually have, simply subtract the mass of the weighing paper (2) from the mass of the weighing paper and solid (1). Record this mass (3). You have just determined the mass of an "unknown amount of solid."
  6. Now place another piece of weighing paper on the balance and press the Zero or Tare button then weigh out approximately 0.2 g of the salt (4). Thus, the zero/tare button eliminates the need for subtraction.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Gen chem lab. OpenStax CNX. Oct 12, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10452/1.51
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