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In the General, Organic and Biological Chemistry (GOB) Lab Kit: Ruby-Red Colliodal Gold, investigate nanotechnology, which has created so much “buzz” that it is hard to tell where the science ends and the science fiction begins.

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General, Organic and Biological Chemistry From nanotech fibers and nanosensors to nanobots, nanotechnology has created so much “buzz” that it is hard to tell where the science ends and the science fiction begins. Wherever it may lead in the future, the science of nanotechnology begins with solid particles called nanoparticles that are 1–100 nm in size. Shrinking the size of solid-phase particles to the nanometer scale—one billionth of a meter—changes their physical and chemical properties. The surprising properties of “colloidal gold” are a good example of this phenomenon. Whereas normal or “bulk” gold is a bright, shiny, metallic yellow, colloidal gold nanoparticles are red or blue, and not at all shiny. Students prepare a sample of gold nanoparticles and qualitatively investigate the scattering of light by the particles with a laser pointer. Then they use a spectrophotometer to construct an absorbance spectrum. The effect of particle size on the color of the nanoparticles is also investigated. Complete for 24 students working in pairs. Laser pointers are required and available separately

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Asking questions and defining problems
Planning and carrying out investigations
Analyzing and interpreting data
Engaging in argument from evidence
Obtaining, evaluation, and communicating information

Disciplinary Core Ideas

MS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
MS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
HS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
HS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions

Crosscutting Concepts

Energy and matter
Cause and effect
Patterns

Performance Expectations

MS-PS1-3. Gather and make sense of information to describe that synthetic materials come from natural resources and impact society.
MS-PS1-1. Develop models to describe the atomic composition of simple molecules and extended structures.
MS-PS1-2. Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.
HS-PS1-1. Use the periodic table as a model to predict the relative properties of elements based on the patterns of electrons in the outermost energy level of atoms.
HS-PS1-2. Construct and revise an explanation for the outcome of a simple chemical reaction based on the outermost electron states of atoms, trends in the periodic table, and knowledge of the patterns of chemical properties.