Introductory Chemical Experimentation

An image of a beaker, and an image of a hand holding a dish over a piece of lab equipment.

Atmospheric pressure sublimation is a purification technique used during the synthesis of ferrocene. (Image by MIT OpenCourseWare, from Video 8 of the Digital Lab Techniques Manual.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Fall 2005



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Course Description

Course Description

5.311 is the first of a three-term laboratory subject sequence for chemistry majors. Experimental work emphasizes development of fundamental laboratory skills and techniques: volumetric and colorimetric analysis; nuclear magnetic resonance; preparation, purification, and characterization of chemical substances; and data analysis.


The experiments for 5.311 have evolved over a period of many years and include contributions from past instructors, course textbooks, and others affiliated with the course. Thus for many of the lab documents, no single source can be attributed.


The experiments described in these materials are potentially hazardous and require a high level of safety training, special facilities and equipment, and supervision by appropriate individuals. You bear the sole responsibility, liability, and risk for the implementation of such safety procedures and measures. MIT shall have no responsibility, liability, or risk for the content or implementation of any of the material presented.

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Janet Schrenk, Kimberly Berkowski, and Mircea Gheorghiu. 5.311 Introductory Chemical Experimentation. Fall 2005. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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