General Information

Welcome to the General Chemistry Laboratory!

The laboratory is an integral part of these courses.  Labs are constantly reviewed, updated and new experiments are also inserted into the lab sequence.  Students meet once a week for labs for a total of 8 weeks during the quarter.  Labs will usually begin the second week of the quarter.  You will be provided with a Laboratory manual detailing general information about the labs, specific background information and procedures for each experiment as well as assignments for each.  These will include a prelab assignment which must be completed before starting a lab as well as a post-lab assignment which is normally due a few days after you complete your lab.  Additionally you will be given a Lab notebook which is used to prepare for each lab and record your data and experimental observations.   You will also need to purchase a pair of goggles to wear in lab.  Details on where to do this will be provided.  Goggles and proper attire: closed-toed shoes and coverage from neck to knees is mandatory.  Lab coats are available for your use in lab and wearing a lab coat will be required for some experiments.

There is a lot of interesting chemistry to explore in the Chem 5 and Chem 6 labs. It is our hope that you will enjoy learning it and that it will enhance your understanding of the material presented in lecture. When you come to lab each week, come prepared, think about what is happening on a molecular level, ask questions, and see what you can learn. What you get out of your laboratory experience will be directly proportional to what you put into it.

Canvas Site. There is a Canvas site specifically for the lab portion of Chem 5 and Chem 6. Information specific to the labs for the quarter you are taking the course will be posted  here.  Announcements, general information and contact info will all be updated regularly on the Canvas site.

Laboratory Sections and Times: Chem 5  Winter 2018

Section                                 Laboratory Period

Monday afternoon                     2:10 – 6:10 p.m.

Tuesday morning                       8:00 am – 12:00

Tuesday afternoon                     2:25 – 6:25 p.m.

Wednesday afternoon                2:10 – 6:10 p.m.

Dr. Prasad (001 Burke) is the faculty member in overall charge of the laboratory. Please contact her directly if you have any questions about the labs (

Lab Section Assignments

Initial lab sections are assigned by the Registrar’s office and are indicated on your Banner schedules. When you register for Chem 5 or Chem 6, you will automatically be placed in a lab session based on your course schedule. Any changes to your lab registration must be done through the registrars’ office, by you, during either the Course change period or the Add/Drop period for each quarter.  The registrar is responsible for your initial placement in a section of lab and all permanent lab section changes are done only through the registrar’s office. 

Lab Logistics

Eye Protection: You will wear goggles to protect your eyes form splashes. These must be purchased in the Dartmouth computer store located at 001 McNutt Hall:

The cost is $8. Their hours are 8:30-6:00 pm M-F and 12-6 on Saturday during the term. Everyone must wear safety goggles for every experiment. Failure to wear goggles at all time in the laboratory will result in a zero for the complete experiment. 

Lab Meeting Places: Each week, you will meet in 006 Steele at the beginning of the laboratory period (2:10 pm (Monday, Wednesday) or 8:00, 2:25 pm (Tuesday) for announcements and a short laboratory lecture before moving to the lab, on the third floor of Steele.

Lab TAs: During the first week of labs, you will be assigned to a Teaching Assistant who will supervise your lab work, grade your notebook, and grade prelab problems and quizzes. Office hours for your section’s TA(s) will be announced at your first lab lecture.

Lab Lecture and Prelab Problems: You must attend lab lecture and you must complete the assigned pre-lab problems and notebook preparation before you come to lab lecture.

Laboratory Charges: A fee for your lab notebook and for incidental laboratory supplies will be charged to your college bill. Additional charges will be made for excessive damage.

Laboratory Manual: Please read the introductory part of the manual, as well as the first experiment before the first day of lab. The manuals will be distributed in class during the first day of lecture and after that can be picked up in the Chemistry Department office: 102 Burke (9-4:00, closed 12-1). The introductory material, prelab problems and data sheets from the manual, as well as the complete first experiment, are available on the Canvas site for this course.

Laboratory Notebooks: Please pick up a composition notebook before or after lecture during the first week of class. More on the notebook (format, proper use, due dates, etc…) can be found in the Lab Manual Introductions. Further instructions will be given by your TA and in lab lecture. Write your name, the name of your TA, and your lab section on the cover. Be sure to read “Notebooks: What Happens When” in the Manual.

First Assignment

Before your section’s first meeting:

  • Obtain a pair of goggles from the Dartmouth College computer store (001 McNutt Hall). The stockroom is in 017 Burke, and is open from 7:30 am to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, except from 12-1 p.m. The cost of goggles is $6 and you can pay by check or cash. (Exact change, or a check, is required)
  • There are lab coats available in the lab for your use. If you are not dressed properly for lab (e. covered from neck to knees with closed toe shoes, i.e. no sandals, no crocs) you will be asked to leave and will receive a zero for the experiment.
  • Read the lab manual through the end of Lab 1.
  • Pay careful attention to the sections on Laboratory Safety and the Honor Principle. Lab safety regulations will be enforced from your first meeting on. You will complete, sign and turn in the Safety agreement (page 3-4) agreeing to abide by the safety regulations and the Honor Principle at your first lab meeting. The back of this form has a map of safety equipment that serves as a “quiz” for the first week.
  • Prepare your lab notebook by completing sections 1-4 as described in the manual. This includes completing the Objective, Reference, Procedure Flowchart or Outline, and/or Sample Calculations or Analysis Flowchart/Outline.

Complete the prelab problems before your lab section meets.   If you have difficulty with the problems, do what you can and come prepared to ask questions at TA office hours or during lab.   Prelab problems are designed to give you added understanding of the week’s work before you come to the lab. You are to work these problems independently and bring your answers to lab lecture along with your prelab write up in your notebook. Note the TAs have office hours to give you a chance to ask questions before your lab section. Prelab problems will be collected and graded each week and they must reflect your own work and independent thought. This also applies to the weekly datasheets. See the Academic Honor Principle statement in the lab manual. PLEASE NOTE: Prelab problems are due BEFORE lab lecture starts.


Your lecture instructor will tell you how the lab grade will count toward your final Chem 5/6 course grade. In general, the eight weeks will contribute toward a total of approximately 15 -20% of your lecture grade. Please note you cannot pass the lecture portion of the course without successfully completing the laboratory portion. If you get three zeros, you have automatically failed the laboratory portion and therefore the course. Three zeros includes any unexcused absences, coming to a lab day that is not your own without permission or failure to turn in a data sheet by 7 days of the due date. 

Temporary Lab Section Changes

The laboratory section to which you are finally assigned is a regularly scheduled academic event and as such takes precedence over non-academic activities and even some academic activities. Thus, if another class schedules an exam during your lab time, the lab takes precedence and you must arrange in advance for the exam to be given to you some other time.  

All other unresolved absences will be considered unexcused and will result in a grade of zero for that week’s lab. Three zeros constitute automatic failure of the lab and the entire course.

To request a temporary transfer to another section:

  • Contact Dr. Prasad via email. You should also let your TA of any changes in your normal lab schedule.
  • We will respond as quickly as possible.
  • To make up work missed due to excused illnesses, etc…prepare for the experiment using the same procedures as soon as possible after the missed Lab Section
  • Requests to make up an unexcused absence will not be allowed. All unexcused absences count as zeros.