Beer's Law Lab

By Loree Ball

Getting ready to start


  • Computer with Logger Pro installed on it
  • Colorimeter
  • 8 Cuvettes
  • Water
  • Solution
  • A tissue to wipe smudges off

The picture to the right is all the solutions measured out and in their cuvettes

Background on what we need to know before you start the lab

Aunt Elda died during her surgery to get her appendix removed. We need to figure out if the doctor gave her to much anesthesia. The doctor left us a sample to test; the normal amount of anesthesia for surgery is less than 40%.

Pre-Lab Questions:

1. Q: Tell me about an experience that you have had with anesthesia. If you have never had the experience, do you foresee a future experience?

A: At the dentist they gave me laughing gas for when I had a cavity.

2. Q: What are characteristics (functions ) of an anesthesia that are desirable?

A: Loss of consciousness during a surgical procedure. Preventing nerve cells to get to the brain so you can't feel.

3. Q: What are characteristics (functions) of an anesthesia that are not desirable (dangerous)?

A: The bad side effects, like puking, pain in different areas, nausea, stomach acids that build up.


-Local Anesthesia: Given by injection to numb parts of the body

-General Anesthesia: Used for medical or surgical procedures to induce sleeping

-Nitrous Oxide: Colorless. odorless gas. (laughing gas) used for a mild sedative.

Colorimeter ready to be plugged into a computer (the colorimeter is used to find out it's concentration by measuring it's absorbance)

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Scientific Explanations for the Observations

We started with 0.0% concentration and we should've got a 0.000 absorbance, which we did. The next concentration we put 10% solution and put 90% water in it. The Colorimeter measured more absorbance. The next time we put 20% concentration and the absorbance went up even more. the concentrations went higher. Everything for evidence shows in our graph that whenever we made the concentration higher the more it absorbs light.
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Step by Step to Make a 10% Solution

To make a 10% solution do the following steps:

1. Take a graduated cylinder and clean and dry it

2. Fill the cylinder with solution(which i believe was made out of 10.0g of sucrose, and then enough water to make a 100.0g mass and green food coloring) to the 10mL line EXACTLY

3. You'll then need to fill the rest cylinder with water to the 100mL line EXACTLY

4. And then stir and you have your 10% solution!


  1. Q: Was the concentration of Aunt Elda's anesthesia too strong? (how do you know)

A: No, the concentration wasn't too strong. Because if you look at the chart below the absorbance was 0.255 and on the graph that would make the concentration about 28% which is less than 40% and that isn't too strong.

2. Q: If yes, how did that cause her death? If no, do you have a hypothesis for the cause of her death?

A: It just might've been to late to save her. The appendix burst?

3. Q: How did Beer's Law help you solve this case?

A: By measuring the amount of energy of light absorbed, we could figure out the concentration of the solution with the Colorimeter.

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