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Vernier in the Journals (Fall 2017)

  • Facile Method To Study Catalytic Oxygen Evolution Using a Dissolved Oxygen Optical Probe: An Undergraduate Chemistry Laboratory To Appreciate Artificial Photosynthesis

    Genesis Renderos, Tawanda Aquino, Kristian Gutierrez, and Yosra M. Badiei, J. Chem. Educ., 2017, 94 (7), pp. 922–927.

    The goal of this activity was to study aspects of artificial photosynthesis, where water would be split by sunlight to produce oxygen and hydrogen. The oxygen produced would replenish the global supply, and the hydrogen produced could be used as a source of clean energy. The authors have developed a protocol to use various transition metal oxygen-evolving complexes to increase the rate of production of oxygen gas from the decomposition of water molecules in the presence of a chemical oxidant. The rate of change in concentration of dissolved oxygen over time is plotted using a Vernier Optical DO Probe and LabQuest Mini on computers using Logger Pro software. Students study the kinetics of the decomposition reaction to determine the effectiveness of the oxygen evolution complexes.

    Featured Products: Vernier Optical DO Probe, LabQuest Mini, and Logger Pro software

  • A Glowing Recommendation: A Project-Based Cooperative Laboratory Activity to Promote Use of the Scientific and Engineering Practices

    Justin H. Carmel, Joseph S. Ward, and Melanie M. Cooper, J. Chem. Educ., 94 (5), 2017, pp. 626–631.

    This article discusses how to incorporate NGSS skills and processes into studies involving glow sticks. Students used the Vernier SpectroVis® Plus Spectrophotometer and Logger Pro software to collect fluorescence spectra from glow stick reactions. This was done by placing the software in intensity mode and then monitoring the spectrum produced by the reaction in the cuvette. The authors proposed experiments to study the kinetics of the reaction involving catalysts, temperature, acids, and bases. One goal was to extend the period of emission from the glow sticks. In another experiment, students attempted to mix the dyes from the glow sticks to produce more intense emissions. Solvent-resistant plastic cuvettes were used to avoid damage to the SpectroVis Plus.

    Featured Products: SpectroVis Plus and Logger Pro software

  • Polymeric Medical Sutures: An Exploration of Polymers and Green Chemistry

    Cassandra M. Knutson, Deborah K. Schneiderman, Ming Yu, Cassidy H. Javner, Mark D. Distefano, and Jane E. Wissinger, J. Chem. Educ., Articles ASAP (As Soon As Publishable).

    The article describes an activity developed to support engineering and science integration in response to changes proposed by NGSS. In this activity, students synthesize their own medical sutures from various polymers and then use a Vernier Dual-Range Force Sensor and LabQuest 2 to measure the tensile strength of their fibers. Commercially available sutures are also tested and subjected to various degrees of degradation by exposure to phosphate buffer for different periods of time. The force required to break the sutures is measured and compared.

    Featured Products: LabQuest 2 and Dual-Range Force Sensor

  • Determining a Solubility Product Constant by Potentiometric Titration to Increase Students’ Conceptual Understanding of Potentiometry and Titrations

    Lauren E. Grabowski and Scott R. Goode, J. Chem. Educ., 94 (5), 2017, pp. 636–639.

    In this activity, students titrated a solution of copper(II) sulfate with sodium oxalate to produce a precipitate of copper(II) oxalate. A custom-built electrode was attached to a Vernier Electrode Amplifier and LabQuest 2. The electrode was comprised of a Ag/AgCl reference electrode from a modified pH electrode and a copper wire. The potential difference between the copper wire and reference electrode was measured and a titration curve of potential vs. volume was graphed as the titration progressed.

    Featured Products: LabQuest 2 and Electrode Amplifier

  • Measurement of Chlorophyll Loss Due to Phytoremediation of Ag Nanoparticles in the First-Year Laboratory

    Kurt Winkelmann, Leonard Bernas, Brendan Swiger, and Shannon Brown, J. Chem. Educ., 94 (6), pp. 751–757.

    In this activity, the effect of nanoparticles of silver on chlorophyll was studied. Students subjected samples of Egeria densa, a waterweed, to low concentrations of silver nanoparticles. The absorbance spectrum of the chlorophyll from the waterweed could then be collected using any one of Vernier’s visible spectrophotometers, such as SpectroVis Plus or the Vernier Spectrometer. Students were able to quantitatively show the depletion of the chlorophyll as the concentration of silver nanoparticles was increased.

    Featured Products: Vernier Spectrophotometer, LabQuest 2

  • Playing with the Bulb Lamp: RTL Measurements and Modelling

    G Torzo (Padova, Italy), M D’Anna (Locarno, Switzerland), and B Pecori (Bologna, Italy), Physics Education, 51 (5), September 2016.

    This article describes many aspects of the operation of an incandescent lamp, including how light level, current, and potential vary. With the 50 or 60 Hz AC applied to the filament, a lot of interesting things are going on.

    Featured Products: Go Direct Voltage Probe, Go Direct Light and Color Sensor

  • Using Flatbed Scanners in the Undergraduate Optics Laboratory—An Example of Frugal Science

    Thomas Koopman and Venkatesh Gopal (Elmhurst College, Illinois), American Journal of Physics, 85 (5), May 2017.

    This article describes using low-cost commercial flatbed scanners to scan and study interference and diffraction patterns. The authors used the Vernier Diffraction Apparatus to produce the diffraction patterns.

    Featured Products: Diffraction Apparatus

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