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Identifying an Unknown Substance

Experiment #6 from Vernier Chemistry Investigations for Use with AP* Chemistry

Education Level
High School


Occasionally, despite the best efforts of the most meticulous workers in a chemistry lab, containers with no labels are discovered. When this happens, there are two major concerns: making sure all the workers in the lab are safe and identifying the contents of the container.

In the scenario presented in this investigation, several unlabeled bottles have been found in your laboratory stockroom. Each unlabeled bottle contains a solid substance. The lab director, through some very careful research, has narrowed the list of possible substances in the bottles.


The objective of this investigation is to identify the contents of a bottle assigned to you, knowing only that it is one of the twenty substances.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following sensors and equipment. Additional equipment may be required.

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This experiment is #6 of Vernier Chemistry Investigations for Use with AP* Chemistry. The experiment in the book includes student instructions as well as instructor information for set up, helpful hints, and sample graphs and data.

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