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Undergraduate physics laboratory: Electrophoresis in chromatography paper
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An experiment studying the physical principles of electrophoresis in liquids was developed for an undergraduate laboratory. We have improved upon the standard agarose gelelectrophoresis experimental regime with a straightforward and cost-effective procedure, in which drops of widely available black food coloring were separated by electric field into their dye components on strips of chromatography paper soaked in a baking soda/water solution. Terminal velocities of seven student-safe dyes were measured as a function of the electric potential applied along the strips. The molecular mobility was introduced and calculated by analyzing data for a single dye. Sources of systematic and random errors were investigated.
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