Blog from September, 2009

Hello Everyone,

The purpose of the laboratory report write-up exercise is to learn how to write like a scientist. Colby Department of Chemistry's goal is for each student to graduate from Colby College as a Chemist, with all the tools you need to succeed in your field of study. You need to learn how to effectively convey information in a thorough and concise manner by presenting the significance of your data in an attractive and informative method.

There are now two links available for you to use to help you write your laboratory reports and discussions

The ACS author guidelines pdf instruct you on the proper format for presenting all data and text.  Some of the information may not apply to you; look at the headings to distinguish which tool will be most helpful to you in writing your report. Specifically, look at the guidelines for presenting charts, graphs, molecules and other such figures that pertain to the laboratory discussion, as well as how to properly cite references and an outline of what should be reported and discussed in each section of the laboratory report.
The second link in an example paper concerning the methods of molecular modeling. The information may be a bit advance for some of you, do not get frustrated if you do not understand the paper in full context, however you should still read the paper and use it to give you a visual idea of how to discuss your result values and their significance, as well as present data and figures accordingly.

145 Laboratory:  Here are a few comments to help you write your lab discussion. 1.)    All lab discussions should include name, date, lab section, and a title.

2.)    Make sure to begin the discussion with a clear and concise objective. 3.)    Make sure to write in complete sentences and check for punctuation as well as grammar errors. Colby has a writing help center located in the Farnham building if you need any assitance. 4.)     Include the significance of the laboratory questions and data, do not just answer the questions.

Example, if the bond order designated by WebMO is different than the qualitative predicted Bond order, then you ought to explain your reasoning for this discrepancy. 5.)    References for literature values, diagrams, bond lengths, (anything that needs referencing) needs to be cited, and in proper notation. At the end of laboratory 3, you will find a literature cited section. You can use these two references in your discussion or you can use them as a template format on how to properly cite a literature reference. 

Lab 3 is posted ... you will have a pre-lab quiz!  Please read the lab handout thoroughly before coming to lab.

Lab 3 ...

The third lab assignment will be posted very shortly ... our apologies.  We're actually trying out a new molecular orbital modelling program and we're still ironing out the issues.  It will be posted one way or another by the end of the day on Friday.

Homework 2 UPDATE

I have increased the quantity of assigned problems for the second homework assignment and alterred the due date until next Friday (October 2nd).  This is a MUCH more substantial problem set, so please do not wait until the last minute to complete it.

Homework 2 ...

I'm going to wait a bit before I assign Homework Assignment two.  I'm goint to be lecturing kind of randomly relative to the book's 6th, 7th, and 8th chapters.  Your second homework will not be due next Friday, but sometime the following week.  Have a nice weekend!

Reading assignments, thought questions, and reminders are posted regularly on that link.  You are responsible for keeping track of it.

Hello Everyone,
Just as a reminder, make sure to fill out your lab notebook properly before coming to lab. There is an example format how to fill out a lab notebook in your laboratory syllabus, plus for your personal visual tool, I have made an example format available for you on the wiki lab webpage. Just click on the link to view it. Most of you are continuing on with research, you will need to know how to maintain and organize your lab notebook.
The purpose of a laboratory notebook:
1.)    To replicate the experiment if need be. In order to do this, the lab notebook needs to be organized and have enough information and data that someone can just pick up your lab notebook and do the experiment.
2.)    Second, if you have any errors with your data, or need to reference information for later use, having all of that in your lab notebook is a hard copy for you to refer, especially to check for inaccuracies in the data and calculations.
3.)    The lab notebook is a tool that will help you prepare for an experiment before doing it. You can organize data, charts, tables, look up formulas, equations, chemical health concerns, etc. In other words, the lab notebook helps you be prepared.

Lab 2 posted

Hi everyone, the second lab is posted.  Please note that you will have an in-lab quiz rather than a hand-in prelab assignment.  This will be a very brief quiz that will require you to have read the lab handout and have a good understanding of the day's procedure.  For this week, you will also be quized on chemical nomenclature.  Please download the common ion worksheet and memorize.  The reading assignment from chapter 2 will help in this regard.

Hey, for those of you who don't have an access code for MasteringChemistry because the bookstore is out of codes, go to the bookstore and get a refund (if you've paid for the code you don't have) and buy a code directly from the MasteringChemistry website .  Please let me know ASAP if there are any further problems.

Hello Everyone, I have been receiving many of your Pre-laboratory assignments that are not properly formatted. This is not following the American Chemical Society (ACS) format. The Assignment clearly states one of the features you will be using Excel for this semester is: "Making charts for presenting data, including the formatting of charts according to the standards established by the ACS Style Guide." Please refer to the Appendix I and II on how to make a chart, or for a visual representation, look at how the charts and tables were presented to you in Laboratory Assignment 1. Many of you are submitting a chart that has no title, no borders, the widths have not been adjusted, there is no name on the page, no title on the document...etc. Think about it for just a moment, if I were to print out a chart that has only values and units would you know what experiment the chart was pertaining to? Would you know if it was a true experiment or a pre-laboratory assignment? That is why it is important to have title references to indicate what the document is concerning. Your name is very important, especially for all lab assignments. I have about 30 students, to make sure your work gets graded, have a name on each and every assignment you turn into me.

Your Set-up should look something similar to: Pre-Laboratory Assignment 1: “Equations of Electronic Structure of Atoms: Using Excel to Calculate Wavelengths and Frequency” CH145L     Fall 2009    Section (x)Tara Kraus Table 1:  The following set of data relates the Apple iPhone frequency range using Excel to find the energy associated with one mole of Photons.

--Now place your properly formattedChart/Table here.

If you have any questions, call me, text me, email me, stop by my office tomorrow morning, talk to me in class, by no way should you feel that you are bothering me. I am here to help all of you. You can always email me your assignment early and ask me if it meets the proper format. I will gladly give you feedback. There should be no reason for you to not receive full credit on Pre-Lab1, however, if I receive am Excel document that is not formatted correctly, I WILL be deducting points.

Click on the Homework link to view the assignments. Please check out the grading rules too.

Lab Update!

Hello Everyone!

Your first lab will either meet on Monday September 14th from 1pm to 4pm for Section A or Thursday September 17th from 1pm to 4pm for those of you in Section B.

Your first Laboratory Assignments are now available for download.

Pre-Lab1 is due via email to me at <> before coming to lab. That means, Section A, is due no later than 12:30 on Monday September 14th, and Section B no later than 12:30 by September 17th. I will send you a confirmation email upon receiving your assignment. If you do not receive a confirmation email from me, you will need to re-send the assignment.

A Reminder:

Bring with you to your lab section, Laboratory Assignment 1, your chemistry lab notebook to record all data collected and methods with the first Pre-Lab completed and already attached to it, and a pen. For your laboratory notebook, you are to purchase a composition book. Refer to your lab syllabus for instructions on how to properly set-up a laboratory notebook.

We ask that everyone follow the lab rules and safety. All long hair is to be tied back, wear sensible clothing: no open toed shoes or sandals are allowed. Of course, no food, gum or drink in the lab area, but feel free to leave a bottle of water outside the lab with your backpacks and other personal belongings as it poses a safety concern to have them in laboratory area.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

See you in Lab!

Welcome to CH145!

Welcome to Colby (or welcome back to Colby)!  We get started tomorrow morning for CH145 at 10 AM in Arey 5.  There is no need to bring your textbook, just a notebook and something to write with.  See you then!