Classification of Laboratory Instruments

Topics: Chemistry, Laboratory glassware, Laboratory Pages: 2 (464 words) Published: February 16, 2011
Scientists require a large amount of equipment in order to successfully plan, complete, and analyze experiments they conduct. The specific apparatus used varies significantly from lab-to-lab and depends mostly on that particular lab's planned experiments. However, most lab equipment falls into one of a relatively small number of categories. Glassware

The bewildering array of available glassware includes several specialized pieces of equipment that scientists use to measure liquids and crystallize solutions. Beakers, which are like a scientific multi-use coffee mug, are used to make solutions and to perform experiments. Scientists use Erlenmeyer flasks to hold different layers of reactions, heat solutions, and grow liquid cultures of bacteria. Students and scientists use graduated cylinders as precise instruments for measuring out different liquids. Disposable Lab Ware

Disposable lab ware, which includes a large variety of tubes and flasks, is essential to any functioning biological lab. Test tubes, culture tubes and tissue culture flasks all fall under this category. Scientists use culture tubes and flasks to grow bacteria and human cells. Scientists value the completely sterile nature of these tubes; companies manufacture flasks and tubes in sterile conditions, so scientists know that anything they grow in those containers will not be contaminated. Storage facilities

Many lab chemicals need to be stored under very specific conditions in order to work properly. For this reason, the storage facilities are monitored closely to prevent failure--some labs even have alarm systems that alert lab members when a freezer becomes unplugged. Most labs have a variety of cooling equipment, including a refrigerator, a freezer at around -20 degrees Celsius, a second deep freezer set at around -80 degrees Celsius, and a liquid nitrogen tank that keeps cells frozen at -196 degrees Celsius. Experimental Apparatus

The heart of any scientific lab is in its experimental...
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