5.301 Chemistry Laboratory Techniques

January (IAP) 2004

Video still of a separatory funnel in Video 5 of the Digital Lab Techniques Manual.
A separatory funnel is used to perform a liquid-liquid extraction as demonstrated in Video 5 (Reaction Work-up I: Extraction, Washing and Drying) of the Digital Lab Techniques Manual. (Video still courtesy of Dr. Sarah Tabacco.)

Course Highlights

5.301 includes a series of chemistry laboratory instructional videos called the Digital Lab Techniques Manual (DLTM), used as supplementary material for this course as well as other courses offered by the Chemistry department.

This course is offered during MIT's Independent Activities Period (IAP) - a special 4-week term that runs the full month of January.

Course Description

This course is an intensive introduction to the techniques of experimental chemistry and gives first year students an opportunity to learn and master the basic chemistry lab techniques for carrying out experiments. Students who successfully complete the course and obtain a "Competent Chemist" (CC) or "Expert Experimentalist" (EE) rating are likely to secure opportunities for research work in a chemistry lab at MIT.


The laboratory manual and materials for this course were prepared by Dr. Katherine J. Franz and Dr. Kevin M. Shea with the assistance of Professors Rick L. Danheiser and Timothy M. Swager. Materials have been revised by Dr. J. Haseltine, Dr. Kevin M. Shea, and Dr. Sarah A. Tabacco.

Special Features

Technical Requirements

RealOne™ Player software is required to run the .rm files in this section.



The experiments described in these materials are potentially hazardous and require a high level of safety training, special facilities and equipment, and supervision by appropriate individuals. You bear the sole responsibility, liability, and risk for the implementation of such safety procedures and measures. MIT shall have no responsibility, liability, or risk for the content or implementation of any of the material presented.

Legal Notice

*Some translations represent previous versions of courses.

Donate Now


Dr. Sarah Tabacco

Course Meeting Times

Twenty sessions for 4 weeks
5 hours / session