Group 9 Project Plan: The Role of Contaminants in the Opacity of Liquids

     Our project involves the analysis of different liquids spectroscopically. We will also measure the opacity of the same liquids. We want to analyze which contaminants have a stronger impact on opacity. Can we tell the difference between liquids contaminated with different substances based on their opacity? The data obtained using a spectroscope will allow us to determine the compositions of different liquids. We would like to examine any correlations between the spectroscopic data and the opacity measurements we take for the same liquids.
     The equipment we hope to have access to is a spectrometer and any kind of light sensor such as the sensor drone. Spectroscopy works by analyzing the wavelengths of light that are either emitted or absorbed by a substance. Because each element possesses a unique pattern of wavelengths, we can determine the composition of different substances.
      We will be collecting any and all kinds of liquids that we have access to (coffee, juices, alcohol, sodas, etc.). We will certainly use different kinds of water (tap, mineral, distilled, sparkling, etc.) and also water that we contaminate with various substances (salt, fertilizer, spices, chemicals, etc.). In terms of supplies, we will need multiple containers to hold the liquids. The experiment will be done using only one transparent jar which will house the liquids so as to keep the effects of the jar constant. The sides of the jar will be covered in a way that no light escapes and we will create a setup allowing us to place the light sensor under the jar. A constant source of light such as one flashlight will shine at the top of the setup. The light sensor placed under the jar will be housed in a small cardboard box having a hole in it. This will ensure that no other light interferes with the sensor’s measurements.
     As far as roles are concerned, all 3 of us will collect as many different containers, liquids and contaminants as we have access to and we will all be present for the data collection. This is the most efficient way to go about our project because all our data can be collected in one place. We are meeting every Friday at 11 am to discuss the project and carry out any necessary research, data collection or other activities. We will set additional meeting times when necessary. We will also be doing every write-up (such as this one) together.
     All in all, we expect some correlation between contaminants and opacity. However, we are unsure of what to expect without analyzing the data.

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