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Identifying a Pure Substance

Experiment #5 from Investigating Chemistry through Inquiry

Education Level
High School


Physical properties of a substance are characteristics that can be observed without altering the identity of the substance. Color, odor, density, melting temperature, boiling temperature, and solubility are examples of physical properties. Physical properties can be used to identify a pure substance.


In the Preliminary Activity, you will gain experience using a Temperature Probe and data-collection software as you determine the boiling temperature of 2-propanol.

After completing the Preliminary Activity, you will first use reference sources to find out more about physical properties of pure substances and how to determine physical properties. You will devise a plan for identifying an unknown from several substances, and then carry out your plan to identify the unknown.

Sensors and Equipment

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

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This experiment is #5 of Investigating Chemistry through Inquiry. 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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