Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Properties of Solutions: Electrolytes and Non-Electrolytes

Figure from experiment 13 from Chemistry with Vernier

Introduction

In this experiment, you will discover some properties of strong electrolytes, weak electrolytes, and non-electrolytes by observing the behavior of these substances in aqueous solutions. You will determine these properties using a Conductivity Probe. When the probe is placed in a solution that contains ions, and thus has the ability to conduct electricity, an electrical circuit is completed across the electrodes that are located on either side of the hole near the bottom of the probe body. This results in a conductivity value that can be read by the computer. The unit of conductivity used in this experiment is the microsiemens per centimeter, or μS/cm.

The size of the conductivity value depends on the ability of the aqueous solution to conduct electricity. Strong electrolytes produce large numbers of ions, which results in high conductivity values. Weak electrolytes result in low conductivity, and non-electrolytes should result in no conductivity. In this experiment, you will observe several factors that determine whether or not a solution conducts, and if so, the relative magnitude of the conductivity. Thus, this simple experiment allows you to learn a great deal about different compounds and their resulting solutions.

Objectives

In this experiment, you will

  • Write equations for the dissociation of compounds in water.
  • Use a Conductivity Probe to measure the conductivity of solutions.
  • Determine which molecules or ions are responsible for conductivity of solutions.
  • Investigate the conductivity of solutions resulting from compounds that dissociate to produce different numbers of ions.

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 Chemistry with Vernier »

Experiment 13 from Chemistry with Vernier Lab Book

<em>Chemistry with Vernier</em> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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