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Discover Chemistry – Thursday, 30 June

This day provides hands-on experience of chemistry courses at The University of Manchester. It gives you the chance to see (and use) for yourselves the kind of scientific instrumentation (IR, NMR etc) you only hear about in school or see on television.

On the day you will synthesise diphenylmethanol from benzophenone, a reaction type you may have studied at A-level but will probably not have done for yourselves. You’ll follow the conversion of a carbon-oxygen double-bond to a single-bond by infra-red spectroscopy and check on progress and purity by thin-layer chromatography on silica, visualised by ultra-violet lamp. These processes are typical of how new medicines are discovered.

After lunch, where you can chat to current chemistry students, you’ll tour other instrumental facilities of the department including nuclear magnetic resonance, mass spectrometry/gas chromatography and x-ray diffraction. There’ll then be a brief career talk showing where a degree in chemistry might lead, followed by an entertaining demonstration lecture to round off the day with a bang. These sorts of demonstrations play a key role in lectures at Manchester.

Provisional programme

TimeActivity
9.45am Arrival, registration and refreshments
9.55am Welcome and introductionary lecture
10.30am Workshop 1: Practical activity – synthesis, spectroscopy, chromatography
12 noon Lunch
12.45pm Workshop 2: Rota of mass spectrometry, campus tour, nuclear magnetic resonance, XRD labs
2.05pm Finish Workshop 1: Infra-red spectroscopy of dry product
2.35pm

Careers talk
Chemistry degree programmes overview
Demonstration lecture

3.30pm to 3.45pm Feedback and close