The experiments described in these materials are potentially hazardous and require a high level of safety training, special facilities and equipment, and supervision by appropriate individuals. You bear the sole responsibility, liability, and risk for the implementation of such safety procedures and measures. MIT shall have no responsibility, liability, or risk for the content or implementation of any of the material presented.
This section lists the course's experiment assignments and supplemental materials. The Staff for this course would like to acknowledge that the experiments include contributions from past instructors, course textbooks, and others affiliated with course #5.310. Since the following works have evolved over a period of many years, no single source can be attributed.
||# OF LAB PERIODS
||Unknown Amino Acid
||In this experiment, the student is given an "unknown" amino acid and asked to identify it using several procedures. This introduces several basic manipulative techniques of preparative chemistry and quantitative volumetric analysis including preparation and characterization of a derivative, recrystallization, determination of equivalent weight by using titration and determination of melting points.
||Synthesis of Ferrocene
||This experiment involves the synthesis of ferrocene a relatively simple organometallic compound followed by preparation of a ferrocene derivative. In addition to execution of a reaction under an inert atmosphere, this experiment also introduces thin-layer chromatography as an analytical tool and both column-chromatography and sublimation as means of purification.
||This experiment involves the separation and characterization of the major components found in either caraway oil or spearmint oil. These two oils each contain limonene and carvone, but each oil contains a different isomer of these chiral compounds. During the course of the experiment, the student will be exposed to fractional distillation under vacuum, gas chromatography, refractometry, polarimetry, and IR absorption spectroscopy.
||This is an integrated experiment comprising topics from inorganic, organic, analytical, physical, and computational chemistry. It introduces the student to some of the basics of acquiring kinetic data, manipulating the data to extract information such as reaction order and rate constants, and how to assess the catalytic effect of the reaction environment upon rate constants.
- Kinetics Appendix #1 (PDF)
- Kinetics Appendix #2 (PDF)
- Kinetics Appendix #3 (PDF)
||In this experiment, the student is given a mixture of a strong monoprotic acid and a weak polyprotic acid. A standardized base solution is prepared and then potentiometric titrations are performed. The resulting data are used to determine the molar concentrations of the two acids and the second pKa value for the polyprotic acid.
Check out this file for some tips and hints relating to the Unknown Amino Acid and Essential Oils experiments: (PDF)