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Question Video: Determining What Is Measured by a Gas Syringe Chemistry

Which of the following is most ideally measured by the item of labware shown in the image? [A] Temperature of the air [B] Concentration of an acid [C] Mass of a solid [D] Volume of water [E] Volume of a gas

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Video Transcript

Which of the following is most ideally measured by the item of labware shown in the image below? (A) Temperature of the air, (B) concentration of an acid, (C) mass of a solid, (D) volume of water, or (E) volume of a gas.

Let’s first identify some of the defining characteristics of this item to determine its name and how it is used in the lab, so that we can identify the answer choice that fits what is ideally measured by this item. In the image provided, we can see that the device contains tubing. When labware has tubing, this generally means it will be connected to another device either for matter to enter or exit the labware. Next, we can see a cylindrical barrel that has gradations marked on its side. These gradations allow us to measure with some level of precision. Both in and leading out of the back of the barrel, we can see a plunger that is likely movable. Together, this plunger and barrel make up a syringe.

Using this apparatus is not the most convenient way to collect liquids, which can be measured using many other pieces of equipment. Thus, this piece of labware is called a gas syringe. This gas syringe could likely be used to collect a gaseous product from a chemical reaction. Take, for example, the chemical reaction between zinc and hydrochloric acid, which produces hydrogen gas and an aqueous solution of zinc chloride. The reaction could be conducted in an Erlenmeyer flask, which could also be called a conical flask, and contained in an airtight manner, such as with a rubber stopper connected to the gas syringe tubing.

As the hydrogen gas is produced, it enters the syringe through the tubing and begins to move the plunger along the barrel. Once the reaction is complete, the volume of gas produced can be determined using the gradations. Therefore, the answer choice that is most ideally measured by the item of labware shown in the image is answer choice (E), volume of a gas.

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