The student should also be constantly watchful to insure parallel conditions during both standardization and analyst with respect to the final volume of liquid in which a titration takes place. The value of a standard solution is only accurate under the conditions which prevailed when it was standardized. It is plain that the standard solutions must be scrupulously protected from concentration or dilution, after their value has been established. Accordingly, great care must be taken to thoroughly rinse out all burettes, flasks, etc., with the solutions which they are to contain, in order to remove all traces of water or other liquid which could act as a diluent. It is best to wash out a burette at least three times with small portions of a solution, allowing each to run out through the tip before assuming that the burette is in a condition to be filled and used. It is, of course, possible to dry measuring instruments in a hot closet, but this is tedious and unnecessary.
To the same end, all solutions should be kept stoppered and away from direct sunlight or heat. The bottles should be shaken before use to collect any liquid which may have distilled from the solution and condensed on the sides.
The student is again reminded that variations in temperature of volumetric solutions must be carefully noted, and care should always be taken that no source of heat is sufficiently near the solutions to raise the temperature during use.
Much time may be saved by estimating the approximate volume of a standard solution which will be required for a titration (if the data are obtainable) before beginning the operation. It is then possible to run in rapidly approximately the required amount, after which it is only necessary to determine the end-point slowly and with accuracy. In such cases, however, the knowledge of the approximate amount to be required should never be allowed to influence the judgment regarding the actual end-point.
The strength or value of a solution for a specific reaction is determined by a procedure called !Standardization!, in which the solution is brought into reaction with a definite weight of a substance of known purity. For example, a definite weight of pure sodium carbonate may be dissolved in water, and the volume of a solution of hydrochloric acid necessary to exactly neutralize the carbonate accurately determined. From these data the strength or value of the acid is known. It is then a !standard solution!.
Standard solutions may be made of a purely empirical strength dictated solely by convenience of manipulation, or the concentration may be chosen with reference to a system which is applicable to all solutions, and based upon chemical equivalents. Such solutions are called !Normal Solutions! and contain such an amount of the reacting substance per liter as is equivalent in its chemical action to one gram of hydrogen, or eight grams of oxygen. Solutions containing one half, one tenth, or one one-hundredth of this quantity per liter are called, respectively, half-normal, tenth-normal, or hundredth-normal solutions.