Monthly Archives: March 2009

Getting It Right the Second Time

This past week my Organic Chemistry students were instructed to repeat last week’s experiment (oxidization of a secondary alcohol to a ketone with household bleach). They were asked to change one variable that they thought would give a better outcome. I explained that in a real research environment chemical reactions are repeated several times to […]

The Design of Laboratory Experiments in the 2000’s

Last week we did a variation of the oxidation of alcohols with household bleach (sodium hypochlorite) experiment. In the past we have used isoborneol as our alcohol which gave the distinctive smelling solid camphor. This year we had a series of 2, 3, or 4-methyl-1-cyclohexanols as our starting materials so the products were liquid 2, […]

Colorimetric Chemistry

Color chemistry has a long and illustrious history. I, myself can trace my academic ancestry back to William H. Perkin, the inventor of mauvine. Organic Chemistry student can share in this legacy by performing the Azo Dye experiment. The experiment I current use is an extension of the popular methyl orange experiment that I remember […]