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Elizabeth Shay Report 1-Feb 09 2011 The first part of the experiment involved practicing how to use a top-loading

balance and then determining its precision by finding the mass of 7 ml of water for several trials. Values for the mass of the 7ml of water varied from 6.863+ 0.002 g to 6.927 + 0.002g which meant the values were not very precise. Several factors could have accounted for this lack of precision. Slight variations in the temperature could have resulted in different readings for the masses of water and also, although the scale was enclosed, it wasnt sealed and so there could have been different amounts of air above the scale each time weighing was carried out. In addition although the scale was brushed off prior to weighing there could have been particles that escaped this cleaning and which landed on the balance in between readings. More particles would have caused the mass of the water to appear artificially higher than it actually was. The next segment of the experiment involved finding the density of a solid (in this case a zinc electrode), water and ethanol. The density of the electrode was found to be 7.4 + 2.0 g/cm3 both times, meaning that the results were precise and that this number was also the average density. The mass of the zinc electrode was found to be less in the second trial than the first. This could have been due to the fact that there were impurities or foreign matter on the zinc electrode prior to the start of the experiment which were washed off when the zinc was placed in water to determine its volume, meaning that the mass (and therefore density) for the electrode in the first trial was higher than it was supposed to be. It should however be noted that the results only varied by 0.001g.The results for volume of the electrode in both trials were 3 + 0.8 cm3 that means the results were very precise. Upon comparing the accepted value for the density of zinc (7.14 g/cm3), to the value obtained during the experiment (7+2g/cm3 ), it was deduced that the experimentally obtained value was accurate.

In both experiments for the determination of density of water and ethanol, the masses taken throughout the experiment were not very precise. For example, the mass of the beaker used to contain the ethanol was 29.848 + 0.001 in trial 1 but 30.295 + 0.001 in trial 2. These differences in the masses resulted in a lack of precise measurements for the masses of the liquids (e.g. 4.856 + 0.02 g vs. 4.880 + 0.02g for trial 1 vs. trial 2 for the masses of water.) One factor that could have caused the lack of precision could have been the presence of liquid drops on the sides of the beaker when it was being weighed. These would not have been counted in the volume but would have been accounted for in the masses of the liquids, thus causing it to appear as if a given volume of liquid had a higher volume than it actually had. Additionally the differences could have been caused by other factors previously mentioned such as particles on the scale that would cause the mass to appear higher than the actual ones or inconsistent airflow in the region around the balance. Of note however is the fact that most of these errors would cause the density to appear higher than accepted values, however the values obtained in this experiment for the density of water (0.98+0.02g/mL) and that of ethanol (0.78 + 0.02 g/mL) were actually lower than the commonly accepted values of (1.0 g/mL) for water and (0.789g/cm3) for ethanol. This suggests that there may have been errors in measuring the volume of the liquids possibly due to parallax error or a poorly calibrated scale on the graduated cylinder. The aim for the last part of the experiment was to determine the identity of an unknown compound by qualitative analysis. The compound was determined to be sodium carbonate based on comparing the reactions of the test reagents with the other known solutions. Both sodium carbonate and the unknown produced pale yellow precipitates (silver carbonate) when reacting with silver nitrate, showed no visible reaction when combined with sodium hydroxide and produced bubbles upon mixing with hydrogen chloride (the bubbles would have been carbon dioxide produced by the decomposition of the carbonate). There were other products formed during the various reactions such as sodium nitrate and sodium chloride, but these were soluble and were apparently colorless.