Watch glass

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Caesium fluoride sample on a watch glass

A watch glass is a circular concave piece of glass used in chemistry as a surface to evaporate a liquid, to hold solids while being weighed, or as a cover for a beaker. The latter use is generally applied to prevent dust or other particles entering the beaker; the watch glass does not completely seal the beaker, and so gas exchanges still occur.

When used as an evaporation surface, a watch glass allows closer observation of precipitates or crystallisation, and can be placed on a surface of contrasting colour to improve the visibility overall.

Watch glasses are also sometimes used to cover a glass of whisky, to concentrate the aromas in the glass, and to prevent spills when the whisky is swirled.[citation needed]

Watch glasses are so named because they are similar to the glass used for the front of old-fashioned pocket watches. In reference to this, large watch glasses are occasionally known as clock glasses.