5.302 Introduction to Experimental Chemistry

January (IAP) 2005

This cyanotype was produced by a photochemical reaction

This cyanotype was produced by the photochemical reaction of ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide to form the deep blue complex ferric ferrocyanide, also known as Prussian blue. (Image courtesy of Meder Kamalov.)

Course Highlights

This course features a complete laboratory experiment manual. This 1-week course is offered during MIT's Independent Activities Period (IAP) - a special 4-week term that runs the full month of January.

Course Description

5.302 is a 3-unit course intended to provide freshmen with a stimulating and enjoyable "hands-on" experience with chemical phenomena. The aim of this course is to provide freshmen with an opportunity to get "up close and personal" with the chemical phenomena introduced in 5.111, 5.112 and 3.091. Interesting and dramatic experiments have been selected to illustrate and reinforce the concepts and principles introduced in the chemistry core lecture courses.


The laboratory manual and materials for this course were originally prepared by Prof. Martín G. Zysmilich (George Washington University) and Prof. Rick Danheiser. Materials have been revised by Dr. Janet L. Schrenk.  Experiment I.4 was written by Dr. Janet L. Schrenk.  Experiment II.5 was adapted by Dr. Janet L. Schrenk from an experiment developed by Prof. Pradip Malde (The University of the South) as part of National Science Foundation ILI Grant DUE-9153695.



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.

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Dr. Janet Schrenk

Course Meeting Times

Five sessions / week
Sessions 1-4: 4 hours / session
Session 5: 2 hours / session