Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Identifying an Unknown Substance


Occasionally, despite the best efforts of the most meticulous workers in a chemistry lab, containers with no labels are discovered. When this happens, there are two major concerns: making sure all the workers in the lab are safe and identifying the contents of the container.

In the scenario presented in this investigation, several unlabeled bottles have been found in your laboratory stockroom. Each unlabeled bottle contains a solid substance. The lab director, through some very careful research, has narrowed the list of possible substances in the bottles.


The objective of this investigation is to identify the contents of a bottle assigned to you, knowing only that it is one of the twenty substances.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Option 1

Option 2

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Vernier Chemistry Investigations for Use with AP* Chemistry

See other experiments from the lab book.

1Investigating Food Dyes in Sports Beverages
2Determining the Copper Content in Brass
3Investigating Water Hardness
4The Acidity of Juice and Soft Drinks
5Separating Molecules
6Identifying an Unknown Substance
7Investigating the Purity of a Mixture
8Determining the Percent Peroxide in a Commercial Product
9Investigating the Components of a Commercial Tablet
10The Effect of Acid Rain on a Marble Structure
11Investigating the Kinetics of a Crystal Violet Reaction
12Investigating Commercial Hand Warmers
13Investigating LeChatelier’s Principle
14Investigating Acid-Base Titrations
15The Buffering Ability of Commercial Products
16Testing the Effectiveness of a Buffer

Experiment 6 from Vernier Chemistry Investigations for Use with AP* Chemistry Lab Book

<i>Vernier Chemistry Investigations for Use with AP* Chemistry</i> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

Buy the Book

Dev Reference: VST0703

Go to top