Vernier Software and Technology
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Investigating Indicators

Figure from experiment 11 from Advanced Chemistry with Vernier


An indicator solution does what its name suggests – it indicates. In chemistry, a common use of an indicator is to signal the equivalence point of a reaction between an acid and a base. Generally, an indicator is itself a weak organic acid or a blend of weak organic acids. The indicator establishes equilibrium in aqueous solution, which is shifted according to LeChatelier’s principle as the solution changes in pH. The indicator is one color in the presence of a range of concentrations of H+ or OH ions, and another color when the acidity changes. Knowing when an indicator will change color helps you determine the precise equivalence point of an acid-base reaction. This knowledge is also important as you select the proper indicator for a given reaction.


In this experiment, you will

  • Conduct strong acid-strong base titrations using solutions of hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide, and three different indicator solutions.
  • Select the proper indicator to use with a titration involving a weak acid or a weak base, based on your observations and measurements.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Option 1

Option 2

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Standards Correlations

See all standards correlations for Advanced Chemistry with Vernier »

Advanced Chemistry with Vernier

See other experiments from the lab book.

1The Determination of a Chemical Formula
2The Determination of the Percent Water in a Compound
3The Molar Mass of a Volatile Liquid
4Using Freezing-Point Depression to Find Molecular Weight
5The Molar Volume of a Gas
6Standardizing a Solution of Sodium Hydroxide
7Acid-Base Titration
8An Oxidation-Reduction Titration: The Reaction of Fe2+ and Ce4+
9Determining the Mole Ratios in a Chemical Reaction
10The Determination of an Equilibrium Constant
11Investigating Indicators
12The Decomposition of Hydrogen Peroxide
13Determining the Enthalpy of a Chemical Reaction
14ASeparation and Qualitative Analysis of Cations
14BSeparation and Qualitative Analysis of Anions
15AThe Synthesis of Alum
15BThe Analysis of Alum
16Conductimetric Titration and Gravimetric Determination of a Precipitate
17Determining the Concentration of a Solution: Beer's Law
18Liquid Chromatography
20Electrochemistry: Voltaic Cells
22The Synthesis and Analysis of Aspirin
23Determining the Ksp of Calcium Hydroxide
24Determining Ka by the Half-Titration of a Weak Acid
25The Rate and Order of a Chemical Reaction
26The Enthalpy of Neutralization of Phosphoric Acid
27α, β, and γ
28Radiation Shielding
29The Base Hydrolysis of Ethyl Acetate
30Exploring the Properties of Gases
31Determining Avogadro's Number
32Potentiometric Titration of Hydrogen Peroxide
33Determining the Half-Life of an Isotope
34Vapor Pressure and Heat of Vaporization
35Rate Determination and Activation Energy

Experiment 11 from Advanced Chemistry with Vernier Lab Book

<i>Advanced Chemistry with Vernier</i> book cover

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