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Laboratories are like workshops in a way, as there are a number of different tools needed in that desired space to do tests or create the desired chemical result. These tools range from glass beakers to mixing jars to instruments that heat chemicals up to pieces of safety equipment.
Beakers are narrow glass tubes that are smooth on the end and meant for holding chemical mixtures, which can be heated or cooled or dramatically changed based on their molecular composition. These beakers are usually quite fragile and come in many different shapes and sizes. They often need beaker holders or clamps to stabilize them after they have been filled or mixed together, which will keep them from falling over. These holders or clamps are usually made out of wood and stabilize these test tubes, keeping them upright and securely in place.
A Bunsen burner is used in a laboratory to heat things. They can produce three different types of flames. A cool flame is yellow or orange in color and is never used to heat anything but just to show the Bunsen burner is on. It heats up to about 300 degrees Celsius. A medium flame is a blue flame and heats up to about 500 degrees Celsius. It is difficult to see in a well-lit room and is the most regularly used for heating things. The hottest flame is the roaring blue flame and it is characterized by a light blue triangle and makes a noise when it is going. It heats up to 700 degrees Celsius. Bunsen burners are integral to any laboratory but must be used with care.
Like beakers, flasks are used for heating and mixing chemicals and are made out of glass. They come in many different sizes and are fragile and expensive if broken. Flasks are often flat-bottomed so they can sit on a work station counter on their own. Others are rounded on the bottom and must be secured with clamps on a stand.
Safety Goggles and Smock
As fire and possibly dangerous or poisonous chemicals will be used in the laboratory, safety must be a first priority so that no injures occur. Safety goggles must be worn at all times to prevent any boiling chemicals or shards from broken test tubes or flasks from ending up in someone's eye, possibly causing blindness. Smocks should also be worn to protect against chemicals and glass shards. Gloves are also a good idea, to protect a worker's hands.
Hailing from Austin, Texas, Daniel Westlake has written under pen names for a myriad of publications all over the nation, ranging from national magazines to local papers. He now lives in Los Angeles, Calif. but regularly travels around the country and abroad, exploring and experiencing everything he can.