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Work in the Laboratory Index
How to work in a Science Laboratory: Laboratory Rules
WORK IN THE LABORATORY
The Bunsen Burner
When you first arrive in the laboratory the gas will be turned off at the mains. Your teacher will turn the main gas tap on once all of the Bunsen burners have been set up correctly.
The Bunsen burner has rubber tubing attached to it. The other end of the rubber tubing needs to be firmly attached to the gas tap on your bench. It is very important that you check this tap is in the 'off' position before you attach your Bunsen burner.
Once you have secured the rubber tubing to the gas tap you should check that its air holes are closed. If they are open, just rotate the metal collar to close them.
Ask your teacher to check that your Bunsen burner is correctly attached to the gas tap and ready to light (air-holes closed). Once your teacher has checked all of the Bunsen burners he will turn on the main gas supply.
Lighting the Bunsen burner
When you light a match always strike it away from you. Make sure that your match is alight before you turn your gas tap to the 'on' position. You will need to press the gas tap down before you turn it.
As soon as the gas tap is open place your lighted match about five centimetres directly above it. The Bunsen will light to give a yellow safety flame.
You must never use the yellow safety flame to heat something. Before you can heat something you must open the air-holes by turning the metal collar. The more the air holes are open, the more fierce the Bunsen flame. Your teacher will advise you on which type of flame you will be using.
When you are using a roaring Bunsen flame remember that the hottest part of the flame is just above the cone of unburnt gas.
Sometimes you will be heating a chemical contained in a beaker. To do this you will need to place your Bunsen burner under tripod and gauze.
The other way to heat a chemical is when it is in a test tube. You use a test tube holder to hold the test tube in the flame. The test tube holder must be attached to the test tube near its 'mouth' so that it is not too near to the flame.
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