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# Lab Measurements and their significant figures 8-30-2011

Introduction
In experiments scientists from all fields use the international system of units (Si). It is the standard metric system most commonly used by engineers and scientist from all fields. By using the same measurement system all over the world for experiments, there is little room for mistaken values. In measuring numbers can be reported as measured numbers and exact numbers. Accuracy, precision and significant figures help in chemistry, because chemistry is an observational science that involves experimentation. Experiments yield data obtained using various measuring devices, and how good your calculations can make or break and experiment. Objectives: y y y Identify metric units such as grams, meter and liter. Report a measurement with the correct number of significant figures and units. Perform calculations and write the answers with the correct number of significant figures and units.

UNITS OF MEASURING
Measurement Length Mass Volume Temperature Energy Si Unit Meter (m) Kilogram (Kg) Cubic meter (m^3) Kelvin (K) Joule (J) Metric Unit Meter (m) Gram (g) Liter (L) Degree Celsius (C) Calorie (cal)

The Table above shows some examples of the most common metric and SI units used in lab measurements.

## Prefixes Prefix kilodecicentimillimicroSymbol k d c m Meaning 1000 0.1 0.01 0.001 0.000001

The Table above shows some of the most common prefixes in the metric system. In every measurement there must include a value and a unit. For every measurement prefixes are attached in from of the unit.

## Experimental Procedure and Data

A.) Measuring Length: 1. First Exam your measuring stick (Figure 6). You will be using this to measure the length of objects. Notice that there is one side of inches and the other side is cm and mm. 2. Measure the cover of your lab manual with your meter stick and record your measurements in cm. 3. Convert your measurements from centimeters to millimeters and inches. 4. After you have gotten your measurements calculate the area of the cover page in cm^2, then you will need to convert the area into mm^2 and inches^2. Make sure you use the correct significant figures in your answers. LENGTH Measured side 1. Length 27.5 cm Measurement -

## Width 2. Length Width 3. Area: 5.86x10^2 cm^2

21.3 cm 275 mm 213 mm 5.86x 10^4 mm^2 10.8 in 8.39 in 90.6 in^2

## Beaker % Error in volume:

49.3 ml

.0493 L

3.6% 1.4%

C.) Measuring Mass: 1. Use the top loading balance(Figure 5) and the Cent-O-Gram(Figure 2) to measure the mass for the following objects: a.) b.) c.) d.) A coin A small test tube A spatula A pencil (or a pen)

2. Record your mass findings in grams in Table C. 3. When you have recorded your findings convert the mass values from grams into milligrams.

Mass
Cent- O-Gram Object Coin Test tube Spatula Pen or Pencil 2.56 g 8.61 g 12.1 g 5.58 g g mg 2560 mg 8610 mg 1210 mg 5580 mg 2.46 g 8.63 g 12.1 g 5.58 g g Top- Loading mg 2460 mg 8630 mg 1210 mg 5580 mg

## D.) Measuring Temperature:

1. Use your thermometer (FIGURE 1) to measure the room temperature of your laboratory classroom. Make sure to record your findings in temperature to the nearest 0.1C. 2. Boil 100 ml of water in a 250 ml beaker. Once the water is boiling hold the thermometer in the boiling water for 1 minute. Make sure the tip of the thermometer is submerged in the boiling water completely without touching the bottom of the beaker. Record the temperature of the boiling water to the nearest 0.1C. 3. To measure freezing point you will need to prepare a250- ml beaker filled halfway with crushed ice. Then add water to the top of the ice. After ice and water are mixed place the thermometer in the ice water for 1 minute. Again, make sure the thermometer is fully submerged and not touching the bottom of the beaker. Record your findings to the nearest 0.1C. 4. After you have recorded all of your temperatures in degrees Celsius. Convert them to degrees Fahrenheit and Kelvin.

Temperature C
Room Temp Ice Water Boiling Water 25 2 100

F
77 35.6 212

K
298.15 275.15 373.15

Experimental Layout
Here are a few pictures of the lab equipment that was used in our experiment.

Figure 2 Figure 1

Figure 4 Figure 3

Figure 5

Figure 6

## Results and Discussion

I observed that if you do not take your time and not accurate with your measurements than your results are not precise. Because Chemistry is and observational science that involves experimentation, the yielded data obtained using various measuring devices and procedures is considered a measured number. How good the calculations are depend on how careful you were in the experiment, how good your measuring device accuracy is, and how reproducible the measurement is or its precision. The mass experiment isn t fully precise because the CentO-gram isn t fully reliable. If you do not zero it out perfectly it will affect your entire experimental findings. In the temperature lab we were asked if we see an agreement between the thermometer readings and those accepted for the boiling point and freezing point of water. My answer is that Yes, The boiling point of water is 100 degrees Celsius and that is exactly what I got. Water s freezing point is zero degrees Celsius, because the ice water wasn t completley ice, I accept my findings mostly accurate.

Post-Lab Questions!
1. A golden retriever dog weighs 78 lbs. What does it weigh in kilograms? 1lb = 0.454 kg; therefore, 78lbs = (0.454kg * 78lbs)/1lb = 35.412 kg 2. Two students measure a laptop in order to calculate its volume. They recorded the length as 32.1 cm, the width as 28.7 cm, and the height as 3.1 cm. The volume they reported using their calculator was 2855.937 cm3. What volume should have been reported by the students? V=L x W x H = 32.1 cm x 28.7 cm x 3.1 cm = 2855.9 cm3. The volume should be 2855.9 cm3 because basing on the significant figure rule, we should follow the fewest significant figure that shows on the calculations. 3. Why could the measured values obtained by other fellow students be different from yours? The measurements are not exact numbers and there will always be some uncertainty to measured values. 4. How did you determine the last digit in a measurement? Give an example. To determine the last digit in a measurement, I used the significant figure rules. If you were to add numbers using significant figures: 2.101 + 5.876+ 11.1 = 19.087 -- 19.1

The figure to the left shows atleast a value of 4.2. But Because of the uncertainty factor, you hace significant digits and round to the best answer. My rounded uncertain number would be 4.28

5. Did you use prefixes in your measurements? If yes, give an example. Yes, for the area of the text book we had to convert 90.6 inches to mm^3 so instead of writing 58,600 mm^3, we used prefixes and made it 5.86x10^4. It simplifies the numbers and makes everything neat.