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4. Estimation of Avogadro's number

Briefly, as a group with your TA, you will make an approximate (order of magnitude) estimate of Avogadro's number by determining the amount of stearic acid that it takes to form a single layer (called a monolayer) on the surface of water. By making simple assumptions about the way the stearic acid molecules pack together to form the monolayer, we can determine its thickness, and from that thickness we can estimate the size of a carbon atom. Knowing the size of a carbon atom, we can compute its volume; and if we know the volume occupied by a mole of carbon (in the form of a diamond), we can divide the volume of a mole of carbon by the volume of an atom of carbon to get an estimate of Avogadro's number.


Special Supplies: 14 cm watch glass; cm ruler; polyethylene transfer pipets; 1-mL syringes; pure distilled water free of surface active materials; disposable rubber gloves (for cleaning own watch glasses in 0.1 M NaOH in 50:50 methanol/water): 13 X 100 mm test tubes with rubber stoppers to fit.

Chemicals: pure hexane, 0.108 g/L stearic acid (purified grade) solution in hexane. 0.1 M NaOH in 50:50 methanol/water used for washing the watch glasses.

 SAFETY PRECAUTIONS: Hexane is flammable! There must be no open flames in the laboratory while hexane is being used.

 WASTE COLLECTION: At the end of the experiment, unused hexane solvent and stearic acid in hexane solution should be placed in a waste container, marked "Waste hexane/stearic acid solution in hexane."

Measurement of the volume of stearic acid solution required to cover the water surface

Your TA will do this as a group demonstration:

  • Using a transfer pipette, obtain about 3-4 mL 0.108 g/L stearic acid solution in hexane in a clean, dry 13 X 100 mm test tube. Keep the tube corked when not in use.
  • Fill the clean watch glass to brim with deionized water. One recommended way to do this is to set up your 25 mL burette on a ring stand. Wash and drain the burette with deionized water. (the deionized water comes from the white handled spouts at each sink)
  • In a freshly cleaned and rinsed beaker, obtain more distilled water and fill the burette. Place your watch glass directly under the burette (about 1 inch or less from the tip) and dispense the water until the entire watch glass is full. You may have to refill the burette 4 or 5 times to do this. With careful dispensing, the surface tension of the water should allow you to fill the entire watch glass with relative ease.
  • Carefully measure the diameter of the water surface with a centimeter ruler. It should be close to 14 cm, + or - a couple of millimeters. Next, rinse and fill your 1 mL syringe with stearic acid solution, taking care to eliminate bubbles in the solution inside the syringe.
  • Read and record the initial volume of the syringe (1 mL is always a good place to start.)
  • Then add the stearic acid solution drop by drop to the water surface. Initially, the solution will spread across the entire surface, and it will continue to do so until a complete monolayer of stearic acid has been formed. If your first few drops do not spread and evaporate quickly, either your water or watch glass is still dirty. As this point is approached, the spreading will become slower and slower, until finally a drop will not spread out but will instead sit on the surface of the water (looking like a little contact lens). If this "lens" persists for at least 30 s, you can safely conclude that you have added 1 drop more than is required to form a complete monolayer.
  • Now, read and record the final volume reading of the syringe.Takes 10 min
  • Thoroughly clean the watch glass (or get another one), and repeat the experiment. Repeat until the results agree to within 2 or 3 drops (0.04 ml).

Questions & Answers

find the 15th term of the geometric sequince whose first is 18 and last term of 387
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I'm not sure why it wrote it the other way
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Commplementary angles
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a perfect square v²+2v+_
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algebra 2 Inequalities:If equation 2 = 0 it is an open set?
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or infinite solutions?
The answer is neither. The function, 2 = 0 cannot exist. Hence, the function is undefined.
Embra Reply
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Kristine 2*2*2=8
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Differences Between Laspeyres and Paasche Indices
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No. 7x -4y is simplified from 4x + (3y + 3x) -7y
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. After 3 months on a diet, Lisa had lost 12% of her original weight. She lost 21 pounds. What was Lisa's original weight?
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Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
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In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
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Prasenjit Reply
At high concentrations (>0.01 M), the relation between absorptivity coefficient and absorbance is no longer linear. This is due to the electrostatic interactions between the quantum dots in close proximity. If the concentration of the solution is high, another effect that is seen is the scattering of light from the large number of quantum dots. This assumption only works at low concentrations of the analyte. Presence of stray light.
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the Beer law works very well for dilute solutions but fails for very high concentrations. why?
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how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
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Source:  OpenStax, Honors chemistry lab fall. OpenStax CNX. Nov 15, 2007 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10456/1.16
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