Finding the Empirical Formula of a Compound

Lab provided by Ms. Beaton ( though I have modified it.
In this lab you will determine the empirical formula of the compound magnesium oxide. The compound will be made by burning magnesium ribbon in air. In addition, you will be learning to collect and record your own data. No data tables have been provided so you will have to create your own. Also, be sure that at least one lab partner is keeping notes on the procedure so that any errors or problems can be included in the report.
1. ring stand          4. gas burner                            7. magnesium ribbon
2. ring                            5. crucible with lid           8. balance
3. clay triangle   6. tongs                                         9. safety goggles
Notes on the procedure: If the crucible lid is not put on right away when the magnesium starts to smoke, product can be lost. Also, if a green-yellow solid is forming, too high of a temperature is being used and magnesium nitride may be forming. Needless to say, this is bad.
Write a lab report on a separate piece of paper and be sure to create and include a neat, readable data table. Keep this lab packet for future reference. The lab report should include the following sections:
Abstract: Briefly (50 words or fewer) state the purpose and findings of the lab.
Materials: Write a list of the materials used in the lab.
Procedure: Write the procedure given in your own words.
Data: You will collect two kinds of data: qualitative and quantitative. The qualitative data include your own impressions and observations about the experiment and may include pictures. The quantitative data are the data you were told to collect in the procedure. Also include any other numerical data that is relevant.
Data Analysis: Calculate the empirical formula for magnesium oxide using your data. Show all work clearly.
Error Analysis: be sure to mention how possible errors may affect results.
Conclusion: Briefly state your results. No new information should be introduced here.
Last updated: Mar 29, 2004       Home