Laboratory Techniques in Organic Chemistry Fourth Edition
In preparing this Fourth Edition of Laboratory Techniques in Organic Chemistry, we have maintained our emphasis on the fundamental techniques that students encounter in the organic chemistry laboratory. We have also expanded our emphasis on the criticalthinking skills that students need to successfully carry out inquiry-driven experiments. The use of guided-inquiry and design-based experiments and projects is arguably the most important recent development in the teaching of the undergraduate organic chemistry lab, and it provides the most value added for our students.
Organic chemistry is an experimental science, and students learn its process in the laboratory. Our primary goal should be to teach students how to carry out well-designed experiments and draw reasonable conclusions from their results—a process at the heart of science. We should work to find opportunities that engage students in addressing questions whose answers come from their experiments, in an environment where they can succeed. These opportunities should be designed to catch students’ interest, transforming them from passive spectators to active participants. A well-written and comprehensive textbook on the techniques of experimental organic chemistry is an important asset in reaching these goals.
Changes in the Fourth Edition
The Fourth Edition of Laboratory Techniques in Organic Chemistry builds on our strengths in basic lab techniques and spectroscopy, and includes a number of new features. To make it easier for students to locate the content relevant to their experiments, icons distinguish the techniques specific to each of the three common types of lab glassware — miniscale standard taper, microscale standard taper, and Williamson glassware — and also highlight safety concerns. Sections on microwave reactors, flash chromatography, green chemistry, handling airsensitive reagents, and measurement uncertainty and error analysis have been added or updated. The newly added Part 6 emphasizes the skills students need to carry out inquirydriven experiments, especially designing and carrying out experiments based on literature sources. Many sections concerning basic techniques have been modified and reorganized to better meet the practical needs of students as they encounter laboratory work. Additional questions have also been added to a number of chapters to help solidify students’ understanding of the techniques.
Short essays provide context for each of the six major parts of the Fourth Edition, on topics from the role of the laboratory to the spectrometric revolution. The essay “Intermolecular Forces in Organic Chemistry” provides the basis for subsequent discussions
on organic separation and purification techniques, and the essay “Inquiry-Driven Lab Experiments” sets the stage for using guided inquiry and design-based experiments. Rewritten sections on sources of confusion and common pitfalls help students avoid and
solve technical problems that could easily discourage them if they did not have this practical support. We believe that these features provide an effective learning tool for students of organic chemistry.
Who Should Use This Book?
The book is intended to serve as a laboratory textbook of experimental techniques for all students of organic chemistry. It can be used in conjunction with any lab experiments to provide the background information necessary for developing and mastering the skills required for organic chemistry lab work. Laboratory Techniques in Organic Chemistry offers a great deal of flexibility. It can be used in any organic laboratory with any glassware. The basic techniques for using miniscale standard taper glassware as well as microscale 14/10 standard taper or Williamson glassware are all covered. The miniscale glassware that is described is appropriate with virtually any 14/20 or 19/22 standard taper glassware kit.
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