Physical Chemistry Laboratory
Last Update: November 3, 2013
A Note to the Student
The physical chemistry laboratory experience is unlike any that you have had in chemistry to this point. This laboratory represents the first stage in your transition from a student (who relies on the course instructor for background information on a laboratory exercise, the experimental procedure and step-by-step instructions for data analysis) to an independent chemist who can do all of these things for him- or herself. In all of these exercises you are expected to perform a literature search (using, for example, SciFinder or GoogleScholar) to establish the larger scientific context of the measurement to be made and the importance of this measurement in that context. Depending on the exercise, you may also need to derive equations, fill in gaps in the procedure and find any missing information that is required to complete an exercise. For all of the exercises you are expected to correctly prepare publication quality graphs and tables, to perform an error analysis of your results, to use this analysis to critically evaluate your results, and finally to put your results into the larger scientific context. It is expected that you will consistently and correctly apply the skills that you have learned in previous courses to the problems encountered in this course. If you are unsure as to what these skills are, please click here to review the Physical Chemistry Review Topics document.
Thermodynamics (Calorimetry Background)
Kinetics (Brief Kinetics Review)