Practical Chemistry

Experiment 27

Title: ionic compounds

This is a planning experiment and as such the students must come up with their own research questions.

The research question

This is what you are going to investigate. It should not be simply a standard experiment revisited but rather a genuine attempt to find out some information about the topic given. The problem is arriving at a research question that is both feasible and valid. It is important to follow a logical series of steps.

1. Think what you already know about ionic compounds. If you cannot think of anything consult the literature. You are advised to make a list at this stage - remember that chemistry is about physical and chemical properties.

  • What ae the physical properties of ionic compounds?
  • What are the chemical properties?

2. Considering the possible quantities that can be measured in a laboratory, isolate the concepts involving ionic compounds that are feasible for investigation.

Remember that quantitive data is easier to process, consequently you are advised to obtain quantitative data (although this is not mandatory)

3, Once you have thought of a research question think through the stages needed to obtain the required data. Are there any pitfalls?

4. If there are no obvious pitfalls you can then move onto the planning stage.

Planning the experiment

You must decide on all the quantites to be used, apparatus and method. If you do not know the quantities that you wish to use take a look at the available apparatus, try out some measurements to get an idea of amounts that are realistic. Remember that larger is not necessarily better.

Once you have decided on apparatus and quantities you can outline a plan.


Write down what you expect to find out from your experiment with sound scientific reasons (i.e. based on scientific theories that you have either studied or researched prior to the experiment)

Modifying the plan

It may be for one reason or another that your plan has to be adjusted. Do not be afraid to change to plan in mid experiment. Make a note of any changes and discuss the reasons for these changes in your evaluation.

Topic or theme to be investigated
What do I know about this theme?
What quantities can I measure in the lab?
    Choose a research question
Which aspects of the theme are possible areas of research?
    Decide on plan, apparatus and quantities
Carry out the investigation


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