Aunt Elda Experiment

Was it the anesthesia or something else that killed Elda?

Beer's Law

The Beer's law states that the quantity of light absorbed by a substance dissolved in a fully transmitting solvent is directly proportional to the concentration of the substance and the path length of the light through the solution.

Background Information

General anesthetics are used during medical procedures when the procedure would be to painful to do without. Anesthesia makes a person pretty much go to sleep and not be able to wake up until the anesthesia is out of your system.


The purpose of this lab is to see whether or not Aunt Elda died from to much Anesthesia or if it was something that happened during her surgery.

Before you can get started you will need a few materials. Those materials include: graduated cylinder, computer, food coloring, water, pipet, cuvettes, colorimeter, and the Lab Pro Software.

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The Steps to the Procedure

1. Make sure the colorimeter is connected to the compter. Open Logger Pro and click "file" then click "open". After you do that there will be a file Labeled Chemistry and you will need to open that.

2. You need to calibrate the colorimeter. Prepare a Blank by filling a cuvette 3/4 of the way full with distilled water.

  • Only grab the cuvettes by the top edge of the ribbed sides.
  • Always position the cuvettes with their reference mark facing toward the white reference mark at the top of the cuvette slot on the colorimeter.
3. calibrate the colorimeter.

4. Collect the absorbance data for the standard solutions. Click "collect" at the top of the Logger Pro document.

5. Discard the cuvette contents as directed by your teacher. Fill the cuvette 3/4 full with the 40% sample. Place it in the colorimeter and close the lid. When the absorbance value stabilizes click "keep", type the 40% in the edit box, and press the enter button.

6. Repeat the steps until you have sampled all of the solutions. onec you have finished gathering your data, click stop.

7.Rinse your cuvettes with water well and dry as best as you can. Fill full with the unknown solution and place it in the colorimeter. read the absorbance value displayed in the meter. Once it is stabilized, record the value in your data chart.

The solution

Make sure the dropper and cuvettes are clean. After you make absolute sure that they are clean you need to combine the green food coloring with the water. If you have 10 mL, that would be your 100% solution. If you want your 20% solution, you will need to have 8mL of water and 2mL or food coloring.

The Real Reason Why Aunt Elda Didn't Wake up.

So after testing the different percentages of anesthesia, I founf out that Aunt Elda's dosage was higher than what she should have been given. 40% is way to high for someone to have and her's was higher than that. When looking at the absorbency levels in this experiment, Aunt Elda's was higher than the 40% but not as high as the 100%