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Answer to Question #55834 in General Chemistry for Tracy Guido

Question #55834
I think I read a burette wrong --- in reading a burette should the final reading be higher or lower than the initial reading. I got a final reading of 27.49mL and an initial reading of 47.75mL. If I subtract the higher from the lower a will get a negative number?
In this case you are interested in the difference volume, so it doesnt actually matter what you put first and second in the subtraction, you can use resulting number anyway by just removing (-). However, more correct is of course to subtract smaller number from the bigger, like this:
V = V(start) – V(end) = 47.75 - 27.49 = 20.26 (ml)
Also don`t forget to check meniscus correctly depending on the liquid you measure.

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