Sciencemadness Discussion Board

do you make notes of your experiments?

Random - 21-10-2012 at 06:59

something like a lab notebook, do you write something like it?

Hexavalent - 21-10-2012 at 07:01

Personally, if I do something interesting (e.g. anything other than routine preps, solvent purification etc.) then yes, otherwise I don't bother.

[Edited on 21-10-2012 by Hexavalent]

kristofvagyok - 21-10-2012 at 07:06

This have been discussed a lot times, but: always note every experiment, because your personal memory won't be as enough good if you will make your 100.-th reaction.

And also, note the conditions and everything what you have experienced, because if you are willing to reproduce it once again, then it will be a great help if you know that where/when, what will happen.

Hexavalent - 21-10-2012 at 07:08

kristof, how do you record your experiments at work? Do you have to follow a specific format?

ElectroWin - 21-10-2012 at 11:36

i have, many times, failed to make notes; after which, i can usually remember the following day what i was doing, but after several days there is no chance. some time later, i find jars of partial products, unlabeled, and recall fuzzy ideas, but mostly it's junk to be thrown out.

i notice that, of my successful experiments i have made detailed notes in a hard cover book, with dates and page numbers, describing what i wanted to accomplish, writing down what i did, with quantities, qualitative observations, hypotheses, conclusions.
and products have been saved and labeled, too, with date and description of contents.

to be totally professional about this, i probably should attach ID tags to those products so that anyone could refer back to the right experiment notes; but i still have a few bad habits. and i am a hobbyist, anyway.

Mailinmypocket - 21-10-2012 at 11:51

I tend to record everything mostly, even routine things with dates etc just to keep a rough timeline of my activities and most importantly usage of materials.

I made a template in word with a couple fields such as experiment #, special notes, dates etc I printed a whole pack of lined binder sheets with this template and made a binder. It's pretty nice to have a book full of custom made sheets that are all identical and force me to use a certain formatting so that all pages are structured the same.

I also keep a separate notebook for recording my purchases, logging reagent info like solvent purification runs and for attaching receipts or any other pertinent information.

I wasn't so strict with keeping notes a few years ago and often found myself forgetting what I had done and how.

[Edited on 21-10-2012 by Mailinmypocket]

cyanureeves - 21-10-2012 at 11:57

i wish i had taken notes one time i was tinkering with silver,hcl and probably baking soda and other household chemicals. i was trying to learn how to make silver plating solutions but in one of those tries something caused the solution to effervescence and and photograpghed the annode wire onto a belt buckle. right now i wish i had taken notes because i dissolved dental partials and tried to drop any metal to no avail, all i keep getting is a light purple solution or light purple solid. one of the main reasons i forget to take notes is because i think i know what the outcome will be and i should always be ready for mistakes.notes,notes notes especially when some metals look the same as others.

Vargouille - 21-10-2012 at 13:17

Nearly every time I do an experiment. Besides reasons stated above, it forces me to write down everything about the reaction, including percent yields which, coupled with other runs, communicate more efficient ways of carrying out a reaction. Personally, my headings are just Materials, Procedure, Data Collection, and Notes, with chemical equations going in the notes section.

Ephesian - 22-10-2012 at 06:06

This is chemistry 101. Everything that you do in the lab should be written in detail in your lab notebook. This is an EXTREMELY good habit to start, especially if you want to work in industry, or research for a university.

1) Title of experiment
2) Initials-date-page number of experiment (SB-102212-49)
-and every piece of analytical data will contain this code for organization
3) purpose/mechanism/prior research
4) data
5) calculations

never use white out, don't rip out pages EVER, do not scratch out mistakes with scribble (use one solid line through mistake), and clean handwriting

this is where we get our laboratory notebooks

ElectroWin - 23-10-2012 at 10:29

by the way, supplies decent quality hard cover note books for cheaper.

Mailinmypocket - 1-11-2012 at 17:55

It's mind is well elaborated this season? .... WTF!? Anyways- Reported spam

ldanielrosa - 6-11-2012 at 01:12

Composition notebook with quadrille sheets. I got a bunch at the local office supply on sale. That's when I got serious about taking notes. I wasn't that way at first.

I keep three different books concurrently: general, biodiesel, and edible (at least food grade materials and nominally non-toxic products). Right now I have a lot of things running in the last book considering I'm making hard cider, perry, mead and absinthe.