Why Is Milk White?: & 200 Other Curious Chemistry Questions (2013)
What chemicals would you see if you were in a chemistry lab?
You’d generally see a lot of water in use. Chemists are always washing up, diluting, dissolving, or cooling something with water.
Aside from that, the chemicals in use will depend on what the chemist is trying to do. In many chemistry labs a standard set of reagents is available, including acids, bases, indicators, solvents, oxidizers, and reducing agents.
A biochemical lab might have agar for making nutrient gels, various minerals for encouraging the growth of microbes under study, stains for DNA or for microscopic study, disinfectants, genetic material, and primers for DNA amplification. A polymer chemistry lab might have a variety of monomers, solvents, and catalysts. An atmospheric chemistry lab may have little or no use for chemicals in the lab at all, or it might have a wide variety of volatile compounds to study.