INTRO: To Make

Edie L -


My name is Edie and I am going to help develop a lab course for second semester freshmen at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. I will be working with Professor Teresa Eaton to develop a lab course on Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy. FTIR Spectroscopy is used in Forensics, General Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry to identify unknown materials in a substance.  It has been used for over 70 years. Infrared rays scan the sample, and some of the rays will be absorbed into the sample. What is not absorbed will be detected. This will make a pattern showing what is detected; this can be used to identify the substance. Specific materials will show different patterns. The Spectroscopy will also help identify how much of the substance is in the sample. Greater quantities of the material will show up more than if there was less.

By participating in this project, I hope to gain experience in a lab setting. Since I want to go into the biology or chemistry field, this project will help me experience and understand what happens in a lab. I also hope to develop a lab procedure using Embry Riddle’s equipment and create a lab worksheet. The lab worksheet will include pre-lab questions to introduce the topic, step-by-step procedures, and post-lab questions. If there is time, I will be trouble-shooting the lab to see if the course is successful. If we get that far, we may try to get volunteers to do the lab, and see if the worksheet did a good job introducing and informing about the topic. A challenge that I think I will encounter is inconclusive test results. I will run multiple tests to solve this problem. By the end I hope to have a complete lab that students can easily follow. This project will act as a bridge between General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry.

Senior project proposal

Embry Riddle Chemistry Lab

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    Wow! I'm super excited for you to get to hang out in the lab and work on lab development. Have you learned about any of the main usages of FTIR in research or in real life? I'm curious what people use it for most. How do you plan on recruiting volunteers? So cool! Can't wait to see how this develops.
    This is super interesting. What has FTIR been used for in the past? I am wondering about the history of the research this has been used in.
    I love seeing you dig into some chemistry that has some use in real life! How would you explain the process of FTIR? I'm curious of it, especially in its relation to forensics. I hope you learn a lot and have fun during your project!
    Hi! Thank you for your comment! FTIR is used in both Organic and General Chemistry as well as Forensics because it can identify materials and their abundance in a given substance. It is a third generation Infrared Spectrometer. It has replaced the other three because it can produce more accurate readings. FTIR is like the absorbance labs we did in chemistry class, but it can tell you more in depth what bonds are in the material you are analyzing. Certain bonds will appear differently and in different places on the graph. For example, acids will have a wider peak than alcohols. The spectrometer measures the way the bonds move and how much or how little they move will be used to identify what bonds are in it. With that information, you can find out what is in the substance.

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