Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 5

Qualitative Observations

Introduction Our understanding of the nature of matter begins with observations. Based upon these observations, hypotheses may be formulated and subjected to testing. The objective of this experiment is to practice making careful observations and to use these observations to hypothesize about the identity an unknown substance. Substances may be identified by observing their characteristics and/or behavior in a variety of situations. Observation of how a substance that has been identified (a known) interacts with other substances gives a profile of the behavior of that substance. If a substance that has not been identified (an unknown) exhibits a profile identical to a known, we can conclude that our observations are consistent with the two substances being the same. Note that we cannot prove that the substances are the same, as the unknown might be some other substance that has not been studied. However, if two profiles are not identical, we can conclude that the substances are not identical. The words you use to describe the colors around you can be used to describe chemicals as well. We will use the word colorless to denote a substance that is without color. The word clear, however, will be used to indicate that a solution is not cloudy. Clear does not indicate color. For example, we can have a clear, yellow liquid. Water is both clear and colorless. Sometimes when two clear solutions are mixed, a solid will form. This solid is called a precipitate. The solid may sink to the bottom, or it may remain suspended, giving the solution a cloudy, milky appearance. In this experiment you will create profiles for five knowns and compare them with the profile of an unknown. Before you begin, use the example below to practice comparing profiles.

Meet Your Equipment!


In this experiment, you will mix your samples in test tubes. Test tubes are useful for reactions in small volumes. Test tubes are round on the bottom, so it is convenient to use a rack to hold them. A stirring rod is used for stirring things. (Youd never have guessed, right?) Beakers are commonly used to hold larger volumes of liquid. Today, youll collect your waste in a beaker. Safety goggles are your most important piece of equipment! They protect your eyes from splashes, explosions, flying glass, and various other bad stuff.

a beaker test tube safety goggles test tubes in a rack

a stirring rod

Pre-Lab Question (to be completed before the lab period) Refer to the example profile chart. Identify an unknown whose profile is a colorless liquid with reagent 1, a red liquid with reagent 2, a yellow solid with reagent 3, a blue liquid with reagent 4, and a red solid with reagent 5. Explain your conclusion.
Example Profile Substance Liquid A Liquid B Liquid C Liquid D Reagent 1 milky yellow colorless liquid colorless liquid colorless liquid Reagent 2 red liquid red liquid red liquid red liquid Reagent 3 colorless liquid yellow solid yellow solid colorless liquid Reagent 4 colorless liquid colorless liquid blue liquid colorless liquid Reagent 5 brown solid milky yellow red solid brown solid

Procedure 1. Put your safety glasses on! 2. Place five small test tubes in a test tube rack. Add a solution of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) to the first tube until it is approximately full. In the same manner, add the sodium phosphate solution (Na3PO4) to the second test tube, sodium chromate, Na2CrO4, to the third test tube, sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) to the fourth and the solution of sodium iodide (NaI) to the fifth tube. Record your observations of each solution in the data table. Add a small amount of barium nitrate, Ba(NO3)2, to a sixth test tube and record your observations of the Ba(NO3)2. 3. Add Ba(NO3)2 to the five test tubes, to bring the volume to full. Stir the contents of the test tubes. Carefully observe the solutions and record your observations on the chart on the next page. NOTE: Be sure to rinse off your stirring rod before putting it into another solution to avoid contamination. 4. Empty the test tubes into one of your large beakers. You will collect all your solutions from this lab into this beaker and then when you are finished for the day, you will dump your waste container of solutions into the large waste beaker in the hood. In this experiment, NO solutions are to be poured down the sink. It is acceptable for the small quantities left on the stirring rod or test tubes to be washed off in the sink when you clean your glassware, but as much of the solution as possible should go into your waste beaker. 5. Repeat the experiment for each of the remaining four nitrates: copper (II) nitrate (Cu(NO 3)2), bismuth (III) nitrate (Bi(NO3)3), iron (III) nitrate (Fe(NO3)3), and nickel (II) nitrate (Ni(NO3)2). When you are finished, obtain two unknowns from your instructor. Record the number that is on the test tube (the unknown number) on the chart. Then run a profile on each unknown using the sodium solutions and identify it. 6. Wash your glassware, wipe down your bench, and wash your hands before leaving the lab!

Data Table for Observations


Sodium hydroxide Sodium phosphate Sodium chromate Sodium carbonate Sodium iodide

(Record observations of individual solutions in their boxes. Record observations of mixtures in the grid)

Barium nitrate

Copper (II) nitrate

Bismuth (III) nitrate

Iron (III) nitrate

Nickel (II) nitrate

Unknown # _____

Unknown # _____

1. What was the identity of the first unknown? Explain your conclusion.

2. What was the identity of the second unknown? Explain your conclusion.

3. At the end of the lab period, the instructor finds a beaker containing a solution. Part of the label has disappeared, but the first part appears to be sodium. What test can the instructor perform to determine which of the five sodium solutions is in the beaker? Be as specific as possible.