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ERIC Number: EJ1133558
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Feb
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
The Chemistry of Photography: Still a Terrific Laboratory Course for Nonscience Majors
Sattar, Simeen
Journal of Chemical Education, v94 n2 p183-189 Feb 2017
Examination of photographic processes from the 19th century to the present digital age is an effective means to intellectually engage nonscience majors with science. A laboratory course for nonscience majors exploring these processes is described in this article. Ionic and covalent compounds, oxidation-reduction reactions, precipitation reactions, and complex ion formation are major themes of the course. Other important themes are light and color and the generation of color in photographic images. Of the 11 experiments that comprise the laboratory component, nine involve making photographic prints, and nearly all of them involve hand-coated paper. Nearly all required supplies are found in an ordinary general chemistry laboratory. The experiments keep the chemistry of the processes in the foreground while letting students exercise their creativity. Figures in the article exemplify the quality of images that students can achieve. The course is enriched by the intertwined histories of chemistry and photography and the work of contemporary photographers. Judging from the level of student participation, engagement remains high from the beginning to the end of the course.
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A