CH 241 LABORATORY 2001
CH 241 LABORATORY SCHEDULE 2001
GENERAL COMMENTS ABOUT THE LAB
This year you will be spending four hours a week of your valuable time in the organic chemistry lab. It is our hope that these hours will be educational, productive, and fun. We are committed to providing you with a safe lab experience and ensuring that environmentally sound practices are always followed. Much of this semester is concerned primarily with learning several fundamental techniques in experimental organic chemistry. These include crystallizations, melting point determinations, extractions and separations, distillation, and chromatography. You will be also introduced to molecular modeling using the state-of-the-art facilities at the Paul J. Schupf Scientific Computing Center in Keyes 404. Furthermore, you will be trained in instrumental methods such as gas chromatography, polarimetry, and IR and NMR spectroscopy.
The philosophy of the lab is pretty simple. You are here to learn not only how to do things, but the underlying concepts as well. We want you to know both what you are doing and why you are doing it. You will miss a great deal if your goal is to only follow the protocol without thinking, observing, and questioning. Indeed, we require that you come prepared to lab with your own protocol that is based on the handout. Laboratory material may be incorporated into class exams.
As we are more concerned with your understanding of the experiments, our grading of your performance may be somewhat unusual. Your grade will not entirely depend upon, for example, getting a bumper yield or accurate melting points. You must, however, be able to recognize when an experiment has not progressed ³perfectly,² and be able to explain your actual results. In keeping with this policy, it is very seldom that you will start an experiment over if something goes wrong. Instead, you will figure out ways to recoup your losses and continue. The phrase ³benchtop recovery² may well become part of your vocabulary, although hopefully not on a regular basis.
In addition to the help we can provide, there are many resources in the Olin Science Library, and you are encouraged to take advantage of them. In fact, room 142 in the library is a study room that contains a variety of laboratory manuals and textbooks that are there for your use. It is especially important for you to become familiar with the Merck Index and the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics that can be found in the reference section of the library; we also have copies of these reference books in the lab. Catalogs published by chemical companies such as Acros and Aldrich are also useful sources of information.
We try not to have too many burdensome rules and regulations in the lab, but a few are necessary for your safety and for the smooth operation of the lab.
| CH 241 LABORATORY NOTEBOOK EXPECTATIONS 2001|
Many of you in this course will go on to graduate school or positions where you will be keeping and using a laboratory notebook. It is therefore important that you develop appropriate habits concerning this practice.
In the world of science and medicine, laboratory notebooks are public, legal documents that can be subpoenaed by the courts. Patent disputes involving huge monetary awards have been settled in this way. Cases of allegations of research fraud have been decided based on entries found (or not found) in laboratory notebooks.
Routinely, however, notebooks serve the more important function of facilitating research. Your laboratory notebook is the primary record of all work done in the laboratory. Everything relevant to the experiments you perform should be entered into your notebook as you proceed. It is not appropriate to fill in your notebook after the fact; this would make your entries recollections, not a primary record. Your procedures should be complete enough so that someone with a comparable level of proficiency in chemistry could repeat your experiment using your notebook only.
CH 241 LABORATORY SCHEDULE 2001