Laboratory apparatus & their functions

Written by matt scheer
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Laboratory apparatus & their functions
Laboratory Apparatus & Their Functions (Michael Blann/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Laboratory apparatus will vary from lab to lab depending on the lab's expense and sophistication, and the nature of the experiments done there. Although a high school physics and chemistry lab will not have the same high-tech equipment that a biomedical research lab at the National Institute of Health has, most labs do share common categories of tools, such as measuring and safety equipment.

Safety Equipment

All labs will have safety equipment. Most will possess eye goggles, which protect a scientist's eyes from chemical spills, debris and irritating gases. Some labs will also have eye-washing stations, essentially sinks with a faucet on opposite ends. Gloves are another common safety item. These can protect the hands against extreme temperatures or very acidic or basic substances, depending on the make of the glove.

Laboratory apparatus & their functions
Safety Equipment (George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Measuring Equipment

Graduated cylinders are common features of a lab's measurement tool inventory. This item is a tall cylinder with a stabilising base and marks up the side that indicate volume measurements for liquids or for irregular objects. Small irregular objects are measured by displacement, measuring the difference between the starting level of the liquid they are placed in and the level after the object has been put in the cylinder. Another measuring device not found in most simple labs is a volumenometer, which also measures the volume of irregular objects. However, it measures things that could be damaged when placed in liquids, such as fragile roots.

Laboratory apparatus & their functions
Measuring Equipment (Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Viewing Small Objects

Magnifying lenses allow scientists to look at small objects in more detail. Microscopes do the same thing and to a greater extent. These tools can ranger in price for a few bucks to tens of thousands of dollars. A magnifying glass may be used to look at an insect's wing structure, while a microscope at 1000x magnification could look at the structure of the individual cells in those wings.

Laboratory apparatus & their functions
Viewing Small Objects (George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

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