In The Lab
A laboratory is a place where scientists can perform experiments in a controlled environment. Labs are usually kept at one temperature, free of static or dust and super clean. The biggest concerns in a lab are the safety of the scientists using it!
Lab beakers are made of a very special type of glass that does not react to heat or to chemicals. Scientists use beakers in the lab to mix chemicals, test compounds at different temperatures and conduct other experiments.
A very common bit of lab equipment, the Bunsen burner, was created in 1852 by Germany's Robert Bunsen. It lets chemists and scientists create a clean, controlled flame to help them do experiments.
Scientists need to protect themselves in case chemicals spill in their eyes. Each lab has an eyewash station that rinses out eyes at a speed of four gallons of saline, or sterile saltwater, per minute for fifteen minutes. Some labs even have showers!
Labs are dangerous for eyes, which are very sensitive. Not only do scientists need to wear goggles that wrap completely around the face and prevent chemical splash-up, but they need to be worried about smoke damage, projectiles, explosions and lasers damaging their peepers!
White coats, or lab coats, have to protect the scientist from all the dangerous things that can happen in a lab. They have long sleeves and are very absorbent to keep spills away from the scientist's body. White is an ideal color so that the scientist can easily tell if their coat is clean or not.
Litmus strips are very useful in testing how acidic or alkalide something is - to see whether it is an acid or a base. Lemons, for example, have a lot of acid and would show up red on a litmus test. Today's chemists and scientists use litmus paper while ancient scientists used lichens and tree moss.
Microscopes are made up of several lenses that magnify an object that can't usually be seen with the naked eye. Galileo Galilei is credited with inventing one of the first compound microscopes in the year 1625.
Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev put all the different chemical compounds in our world together on the Periodic Table of the Elements in 1869. Ninety-four of the Table's 117 elements occur naturally on Earth, while the rest are man-made.
A scientist named Avicenna developed the first thermometer in the 11th century. Thermometers measure how much something expands or contracts at certain temperatures. Mercury, for example, makes a great choice to put in a thermometer because it is very sensitive to temperature.