A laboratory (British English: /ləˈbɒrətəri/ or /ləˈbɒrətri/,
American English: /ˈlæbərətɔːri/ or /ˈlæbrətɔːri/;
informally, lab) is a facility that provides controlled conditions in
which scientific or technological research, experiments, and
measurement may be performed.
2.1 The early laboratories
4 Equipment and supplies
5 Specialized types
7 See also
9 External links
Laboratories used for scientific research take many forms because of
the differing requirements of specialists in the various fields of
science and engineering. A physics laboratory might contain a particle
accelerator or vacuum chamber, while a metallurgy laboratory could
have apparatus for casting or refining metals or for testing their
strength. A chemist or biologist might use a wet laboratory, while a
psychologist's laboratory might be a room with one-way mirrors and
hidden cameras in which to observe behavior. In some laboratories,
such as those commonly used by computer scientists, computers
(sometimes supercomputers) are used for either simulations or the
analysis of data. Scientists in other fields will use still other
types of laboratories.
Engineers use laboratories as well to design,
build, and test technological devices.
Scientific laboratories can be found as research room and learning
spaces in schools and universities, industry, government, or military
facilities, and even aboard ships and spacecraft.
Despite the underlying notion of the lab as a confined space for
experts, the term "laboratory" is also increasingly applied to
workshop spaces such as Living Labs, Fab Labs, or Hackerspaces, in
which people meet to work on societal problems or make prototypes,
working collaboratively or sharing resources. This
development is inspired by new, participatory approaches to science
and innovation and relies on user-centred design methods and
Open innovation or User innovation,. One
distinctive feature of work in Open Labs is phenomena of translation,
driven by the different backgrounds and levels of expertise of the
Early instances of "laboratories" recorded in English involved alchemy
and the preparation of medicines.
The emergence of Big
World War II
World War II increased the size of
laboratories and scientific equipment, introducing particle
accelerators and similar devices.
The early laboratories
The earliest laboratory according to the present evidence is a home
Pythagoras of Samos, the well-known Greek philosopher
and scientist. This laboratory was created when
an experiment about tones of sound and vibration of string. 
In the painting of
Louis Pasteur by
Albert Edelfelt in 1885, Louis
Pasteur is the shown comparing a note in his left hand with a bottle
filled with a solid in his right hand, and not wearing an personal
Researching in teams started in the 19th century, and many new kinds
of equipment were developed in the 20th century. 
A 16th century underground alchemical laboratory was accidentally
discovered in the year 2002.
Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor
Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor was
believed to be the owner. The laboratory is called Speculum Alchemiae
and is preserved as a museum in Prague. 
Chemistry laboratory of the 18th century, of the sort used by Antoine
Lavoisier and his contemporaries
Thomas Edison in his laboratory, 1901
A laboratory in the 1970s
Chemical laboratory in Mahidol
University International College since
Early 2000s style of counter in Chemical Laboratory, Mahidol
University International College, Thailand
Laboratory techniques are the set of procedures used on natural
sciences such as chemistry, biology, physics in order to conduct an
experiment, all of them follow the scientific method; while some of
them involve the use of complex laboratory equipment from laboratory
glassware to electrical devices, and others require more specific or
Equipment and supplies
Three beakers, an Erlenmeyer flask, a graduated cylinder and a
Laboratory equipment refers to the various tools and equipment used by
scientists working in a laboratory:
The classical equipment includes tools such as Bunsen burners and
microscopes as well as specialty equipment such as operant
conditioning chambers, spectrophotometers and calorimeters.
laboratory glassware such as the beaker or reagent bottle
Analytical devices as HPLC or spectrophotometers
Molecular biology laboratories + Life science laboratories
Autoclavable bench-top laboratory bioreactor and fermenter
Shakers & mixers
Thermal cyclers (PCR)
Refrigerators and Freezers
Universal testing machine
Biological safety cabinets
Pipettes tips (supply)
Polymer (supply) consumables for small volumes (µL and mL scale),
Laboratory equipment is generally used to either perform an experiment
or to take measurements and gather data. Larger or more sophisticated
equipment is generally called a scientific instrument.
The title of laboratory is also used for certain other facilities
where the processes or equipment used are similar to those in
scientific laboratories. These notably include:
Film laboratory or Darkroom
Clandestine lab for the production of illegal drugs
Crime lab used to process crime scene evidence
Medical laboratory (involves handling of chemical compounds)
Public health laboratory
An eyewash station in a laboratory.
Riin Tamm wearing protective lab coat
In many laboratories, hazards are present.
Laboratory hazards might
include poisons; infectious agents; flammable, explosive, or
radioactive materials; moving machinery; extreme temperatures; lasers,
strong magnetic fields or high voltage. Therefore, safety precautions
are vitally important. Rules exist to minimize the individual's risk,
and safety equipment is used to protect the lab users from injury or
to assist in responding to an emergency.
Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the United
States, recognizing the unique characteristics of the laboratory
workplace, has tailored a standard for occupational exposure to
hazardous chemicals in laboratories. This standard is often referred
to as the "
Laboratory Standard". Under this standard, a laboratory is
required to produce a Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) which addresses the
specific hazards found in its location, and its approach to them.
In determining the proper Chemical Hygiene Plan for a particular
business or laboratory, it is necessary to understand the requirements
of the standard, evaluation of the current safety, health and
environmental practices and assessment of the hazards. The CHP must be
reviewed annually. Many schools and businesses employ safety, health,
and environmental specialists, such as a Chemical Hygiene Officer
(CHO) to develop, manage, and evaluate their CHP. Additionally, third
party review is also used to provide an objective "outside view" which
provides a fresh look at areas and problems that may be taken for
granted or overlooked due to habit.
Inspections and audits like also be conducted on a regular basis to
assess hazards due to chemical handling and storage, electrical
equipment, biohazards, hazardous waste management, chemical waste,
housekeeping and emergency preparedness, radiation safety, ventilation
as well as respiratory testing and indoor air quality. An important
element of such audits is the review of regulatory compliance and the
training of individuals who have access to and/or work in the
laboratory. Training is critical to the ongoing safe operation of the
laboratory facility. Educators, staff and management must be engaged
in working to reduce the likelihood of accidents, injuries and
potential litigation. Efforts are made to ensure laboratory safety
videos are both relevant and engaging.
Cargo cult science
Controlled lab reactor
Standard conditions for temperature and pressure
^ Latour, Bruno (1987).
Science in action: How to follow scientists
and engineers through society. Cambridge: Harvard University
^ Flaherty, Joe (May 14, 2012). "Ford + TechShop: Getting Employees to
^ Burress, Charles (December 22, 1997). "A Tinkerer's Paradise in
Berkeley / Young, old inventors are offered tools, techniques and
inspiration". SF Chronicle.
^ Carlson, Adam (September 5, 2013). "Top 8 Tools for Building a
Personal Prototyping Laboratory". EE Times.
^ ISO 13407:(1999), titled Human-centred design processes for
interactive systems, is an ISO Standard providing Guidance on
human-centred design activities throughout the life cycle of
interactive computer-based systems.
^ Von Hippel, E. (1986). Lead users: a source of novel product
Science 32, 791–805.
^ Chesbrough, H.W. (2003). Open Innovation: The new imperative for
creating and profiting from technology. Boston: Harvard Business
^ Fritzsche, A (2017). "Corporate Foresight in Open Laboratories - A
Translational Approach". Technology Analysis & Strategic
Oxford English Dictionary
Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University
Press. September 2005. (Subscription or UK public library
membership required.): "Originally: a room or building for the
practice of alchemy and the preparation of medicines. Later: one
equipped for carrying out scientific experiments or procedures, esp.
for the purposes of research, teaching, or analysis; (also) one in
which chemicals or drugs are manufactured."
^ "World's Oldest Laboratory". Analytical Chemistry. 62 (13):
701A–701A. 30 May 2012. doi:10.1021/ac00212a716.
^ Schummer, Joachim; Spector, Tami I (July 2007). "The Visual Image of
Chemistry: Perspectives from the History of Art and Science". HYLE
International Journal for Philosophy of
Chemistry (1): 3–41.
^ Lowe, Derek (27 May 2015). "
Laboratory history: The chemistry
chronicles". Nature. 521 (7553): 422–422.
^ "Museum of Alchemy". Speculum Alchemiae.
^ Michael L. Matson; Jeffrey P. Fitzgerald; Shirley Lin (October 1,
2007). "Creating Customized, Relevant, and Engaging
Videos". Journal of Chemical Education. 84 (10): 1727.
Bibcode:2007JChEd..84.1727M. doi:10.1021/ed084p1727. Retrieved 22
Wikisource has the text of the 1905 New International Encyclopedia
The dictionary definition of laboratory at Wiktionary
Media related to
Laboratory at Wikimedia Commons
Nobel Laureates Interactive 360° Laboratories
Vacuum dry box
Mortar and pestle
Test tube holder
Test tube rack
Lab drying rack
Cryogenic storage dewar
Laminar flow cabinet
Test tube brush
Nuclear magnetic resonance
Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)
Inductively coupled plasma
Inductively coupled plasma (ICP) device
Gas chromatograph (GC)
Liquid Chromatograph (LC)
Mass spectrometer (MS)
Scanning electron microscope
Scanning electron microscope (SEM)
Transmission electron microscope (TEM)
Melting point apparatus
Thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA)
Nuclear magnetic resonance
Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) instrument
Eye and hand
Acid (solvent) cabinet
Instruments used in medical laboratories