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Why Is The Mole Important In Chemistry

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What Do We Mean By The Atomic Mass Expressed In Grams

The Mole: The most important concept in Chemistry | Part 1. What is a mole?

It means that we take the relative atomic mass values of all the elements on the periodic table and attach grams to them. Once we do that, we can now weigh 1 mole of any element by simply weighing its exact atomic mass in grams. Similarly, since atoms combine to make molecules, we can find the molecular mass of any molecule by simply finding the sum of all the atomic masses in the chemical formula. The following table shows how to transition from atomic mass to molar mass .

Solved Examples On The Mole Concept

Some solved example questions on the mole concept are provided in this subsection.

Q.1: How many moles of iron are present in a pure sample weighing 558.45 grams?

A.1: The molar mass of iron is 55.845 g/mol. Therefore, the number of moles of iron in the pure sample weighing 558.45 grams is:

= 10 moles.

Q.2: How many molecules of water are present in 36 grams of water?

A.2: The molar mass of water is 18 . Therefore, 36 grams of water makes up a total of 2 moles. Each mole has 6.022*1023 water molecules. The total number of H2O molecules in 36 grams of water is: 12.044*1023

Q.3: How many grams of carbon can be found in 1 mole of carbon dioxide?

A.3: 1 mole of CO2 contains 1 mole of carbon and 2 moles of oxygen. The molar mass of carbon is 12.0107 g/mol. Therefore, 1 mole of CO2 contains 12.01 grams of carbon and 32 grams of oxygen.

Molecular Weight And Atomic Weight

Atomic weight is useful for determining a substances molecular weightthe average combined weight of a molecules individual atoms. Like atomic weight, molecular weight is an averaged weight, based on the relative abundance of each atoms isotopes.

Lets go back to carbon dioxide for an example of how this works. Each CO2molecule has one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms. Therefore, CO2s molecular weight can be calculated by adding the atomic weights of one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms:

MW CO2 = + MW CO2 = + MW CO2 = 44.0098 amu

Because molecular weight and molar mass are linked, weve also just determined the mass of one mole of CO2: one mole of CO2 has a molar mass of 44.0098 grams per mole.

Comprehension Checkpoint

To calculate molecular weight, it helps to know _____.

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What Is The Mole In Chemistry


The mole is the unit of amount in chemistry. A mole of a substance is defined as: The mass of substance containing the same number of fundamental units as there are atoms in exactly 12.000 g of 12C.

Similarly, how do you use moles in chemistry? The molar mass is used to convert grams of a substance to moles and is used often in chemistry. The molar mass of an element is found on the periodic table, and it is the element’s atomic weight in grams/mole . If the mass of a substance is known, the number of moles in the substance can be calculated.

Similarly, it is asked, what is a mole in chemistry and why is it important?

The mole is important because it allows chemists to work with the subatomic world with macro world units and amounts. Atoms, molecules and formula units are very small and very difficult to work with usually. However, the mole allows a chemist to work with amounts large enough to use.

What is a mole chemistry simple?

Mole A Unit of MeasurementAnne Marie Helmenstine, Ph. D. A mole is the quantity of anything that has the same number of particles found in 12.000 grams of carbon-12. That number of particles is Avogadro’s Number, which is roughly 6.02×1023. 1? A mole of carbon atoms is 6.02×1023 carbon atoms.

Constantly Walking The Planck

Chemistry students celebrate the importance of Mole Day ...

The road to democratizing measurement involves a quantity from quantum physics called the Planck constant. Conceived by physicist Max Planck in 1900, this constant was introduced at the dawn of quantum mechanics, the theory that describes the behavior of atoms and other things at atomic and subatomic scales too small for us to see.

While the value of the mole is almost unimaginably big, Planck constant is a tiny number, containing 33 zeroes after the decimal point. According to quantum mechanics, an atom only absorbs or doles out energy in package-like chunks or quanta, whose value is equal to a multiple of Plancks constant. Its like a monetary system in which pennies dont exist you can only buy or sell things in multiples of nickels. The nickel, in this case, is Plancks constant.

How does this relate to mass? Well, this brings in the most famous equation in all of physics: E=mc2. This says that mass can transform into energy, and energy into mass. And one type of energy is equivalent to another type. So, electrical energy can transform completely into mechanical energy, and vice versa. If the electrical energy of a quantum system is proportional to Plancks constant, and it creates a force that balances out the weight of a mechanical system containing a mass, you can measure the amount of that mass using Plancks constant.

In other words, chemistry.

Is this all just theoretical cogitations?

No, it is very real, Vocke says.

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Definition Of The Mole

SI unit of amount of substance, equal to that quantity containing as many elementary units as there atoms in 0.012 kg of carbon-12

To try and make sense of this definition, teachers often try to adopt a simplistic approach by thinking of the mole as a counting unit, which of course does not fit any of the above meanings. In order to understand the mole, students need to be presented with a clear approach based on making connections between the amount of substance and a numerical quantity. Students need to appreciate that moles link the substances in a chemical equation to the amounts needed in practice. However, if the mole is taught purely as an abstract mathematical idea, and this chemical context is lost, this too can introduce a whole set of new difficulties, especially to the students who already struggle to manipulate numbers, symbols and formulae.

Chapter 5 Stoichiometry And The Mole

  • Describe the unit mole.
  • Relate the mole quantity of substance to its mass.
  • So far, we have been talking about chemical substances in terms of individual atoms and molecules. Yet we dont typically deal with substances an atom or a molecule at a time we work with millions, billions, and trillions of atoms and molecules at a time. What we need is a way to deal with macroscopic, rather than microscopic, amounts of matter. We need a unit of amount that relates quantities of substances on a scale that we can interact with.

    Chemistry uses a unit called mole. A mole is a number of things equal to the number of atoms in exactly 12 g of carbon-12. Experimental measurements have determined that this number is very large:

    1 mol = 6.02214179 × 1023 things

    Understand that a mole means a number of things, just like a dozen means a certain number of thingstwelve, in the case of a dozen. But a mole is a much larger number of things. These things can be atoms, or molecules, or eggs however, in chemistry, we usually use the mole to refer to the amounts of atoms or molecules. Although the number of things in a mole is known to eight decimal places, it is usually fine to use only two or three decimal places in calculations. The numerical value of things in a mole is often called Avogadros number , which is also known as the Avogadro constant, after Amadeo Avogadro, an Italian chemist who first proposed its importance.

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    Gram Atomic Mass And Gram Molecular Mass

    The gram atomic mass of an element is the mass of one mole of that element. Similarly, the gram molecular mass of a compound refers to the mass of a single mole of the compound. Therefore, the gram atomic mass of hydrogen is approximately 1.007g and the gram molecular mass of water is approximately 18.015g.

    Why Do Chemists Need The Mole Concept

    The Mole: What is the Mole?

    The Mole concept

    Chemists need the mole concept to bridge the gap between the microscopic world of atoms to the macroscopic world of humans. As you know, the molecular level consists of particles that are invisible to us. Because of this, chemists cant count or weigh these individual particles on a scale.

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    So What About The Mole

    Many of the difficulties associated with the concept of the mole start with its definition. When taking a closer look this is hardly surprising as chemists themselves do not agree on how the mole should be defined. It has been a topic of debate within the chemical community for over 60 years. One of the difficulties lies within the fact that the mole has three meanings:

    • an individual unit of mass
    • a portion of substance and
    • a number.

    The Mole And Atomic Mass

  • Terms you should know
  • amu : the standard unit of measurement of atomic mass. The mass of one carbon-12 atom is set at 12 amu the atomic mass of atoms of all other elements is determined relative to the mass of carbon-12.
  • Avogadros number : the number of units in one mole: 6.022 × 1023, which is the number of atoms in 12 grams of carbon-12.
  • molar mass : the mass of one mole of a substance, measured in grams.
  • This is an updated version of The Mole module. For the previous version, go here.

    When wildlife biologists talk about moles, theyre usually referring to the tiny, gray rodents that dig underground to find delicious earthworms. But when chemists talk about moles, theyre usually referring to a scientific term. The term mole represents a number, in the same way the word dozen represents 12 of something. In this case, one mole represents the enormous number, 6.02 x 1023.

    This is a huge number! To help you and any wildlife biologists reading this module get a sense of just how many things are in one mole, we can use an analogy with another small, gray rodent: the gray squirrel . One gray squirrel weighs roughly 500 grams, or as much as a hardback book. One dozen gray squirrels weigh about 6,000 grams, or a little more than a medium-sized bowling ball. And one mole of gray squirrels weighs 301,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 gramsmore than four times the mass of the moon!

    Figure 1

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    Playing The Mass Spec

    Avogadro mostly worked with rudimentary instruments: small burners and such. Here in the NIST labs and pretty much everywhere modern chemists work, there are now instruments called mass spectrometers, which are often large boxy things. To Avogadros 19th-century eyes, these might have looked like child-sized coffins or large trunks for sending goods overseas via tall ships.

    Mass spectrometers are used to vaporize samples into atoms and molecules and then ionize them . Inside the big box, those ions are accelerated by an electric field and then deflected by a magnetic field where they acquire a trajectory based on their mass- to-charge ratio. Lighter ions are more strongly deflected while heavier ones undergo less deflection. Researchers obtain a spectrum of masses in a sample by observing the different deflections. These mass spectra are like unique fingerprints that can help identify the composition of the original sample. Natural silicon, for example, has three stable isotopic forms and produces a mass spectrum consisting of silicon-28, silicon-29 and silicon-30.

    It is easy to get the sense that Rabb really loves to use his mass spectrometer the way someone else might like playing a musical instrument or writing tight and concise code for computers. He likes thinking through the process. He tries to understand how each step will influence the precision of the measurements that result from his work.

    Vocke, on the other hand, credits Rabbs chemistry skills.

    How Much Space Does A Mole Occupy

    What is the Mole

    Now just how many is 6.02 x 10²³? How long do you think it would take you to count to a mole? One day? One week? One year? Go ahead, start counting. It would take you around 20,000,000,000,000,000 years. As you can see, very large quantities of atoms take up very little space which gives us an idea of just how tiny they are. Here is another example: One mole of water with all 6.02 x 10²³ molecules of HO occupies slightly more than a tablespoon.

    So how do those tiny atoms come together to make up the stuff in the world around us? Even though atoms are so small, there is a lot of action going on. Each atom is made up of even smaller particles called electrons. The way those electrons place themselves around the atom lead to properties we can experience and observe. In a metal, the tiny atoms are swimming in a sea of electrons which gives them the ability to conduct heat and electricity.

    How about water? The electrons in a molecule of water are arranged so that each water molecule is extremely attracted to the one next to it. Because of this they naturally arrange themselves at the atomic level in ways that have big consequences in the world around us. When water freezes, the molecules arrange in a way that creates a lattice that causes ice to float in liquid water. Why is that so important? Because ice floats, a pond or lake will freeze at the top, but below the entire aquatic ecosystem is able to survive. This is an amazing phenomenon of water.

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    Elementary Molecules: Rock Me Amedeo

    Perhaps no one would be more fascinated by silicon and its role in the effort to redefine the International System of Units than Amedeo Avogadro, for whom a constant of nature has been named.

    Avogadro lived from 1776-1856. He began his career as a lawyer, later becoming a chemist when his curiosity about the natural world led him to interrogate it. He famously hypothesized that equal volumes of gases contain equal numbers of molecules if held at the same temperature and pressure. He also asserted that simple gases were made of compound molecules of multiple atoms. His work was so early in the game of chemistry that the concept of an atom was not even widely embraced at the time. He called them elementary molecules.

    Avogadro may have been a great thinker, but he was not very good at convincing other people about his ideas. It took 50 years for others to catch up and realize he had been onto something big with all these small elementary molecules making up the world. By then, poor Avogadro had long gone to the grave.

    Historians, mathematicians and chemists love to argue about why his concept was initially disregarded and took so long to catch on. In the end, whats essential to know is that his fundamental information about gases would lead to a greater understanding of all substances.

    Why We Use Moles

    Why don’t we simply stick with units like grams ? The answer is that moles give us a consistent method to convert between atoms/molecules and grams. It’s simply a convenient unit to use when performing calculations. You may not find it too convenient when you are first learning how to use it, but once you become familiar with it, a mole will be as normal a unit as, say, a dozen or a byte.

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    Limitations Of The Mole

    While the mole is very useful for scientists, it is not without its problems and controversies. One major challenge with the mole is that it is defined as the number of 12C atoms in 12 grams of 12C. Because the number of atoms must be determined through experiments, this number changes as experimental techniques evolve and improve. Furthermore, there is also experimental uncertainty about the exact number of atoms in 12 grams of 12C . We can see these problems even in very recent examples: in 2011, two papers were published on experiments that determined Avogadros number to be 6.02214082 x 1023, with a relative uncertainty of 3.0 x 10-8. However, a 2015 paper determined Avogadros number to be 6.02214076 x 1023, with a relative uncertainty of 2.0 x 10-8.

    Because of these problems, the General Conference on Weights and Measures, which meets periodically to coordinate and set international standards for the metric system, proposed in the early 21st century to set a permanent definition for the number contained in one mole. According to this proposal, one mole contains a number equal to Avogadros constant, which would be set as 6.02214129 x 1023.

    Figure 5

    Using The Periodic Table To Calculate Moles

    Why is mole important? Avogadro’s number? Should you care? | Dr K

    The cool thing is that you can use the periodic table to determine how much mass of each element you need to have a mole of that element.

    On the periodic table, each element is often listed with two numbers. The atomic number corresponds to the elements order in the periodic table and tells how many protons an atom of that element possesses.

    The atomic mass tells us how many grams of that element will contain a mole of atoms.

    So with a simple glance at the periodic table, we can discover how much of each element is needed to have 602,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 atoms of that element.

    An important thing to notice is that the amount of an element that it takes to have a mole of atoms varies greatly.

    It takes only 1.01 grams of hydrogen to have a mole of hydrogen atoms, but it takes 12 grams of carbon to have the same number of carbon atoms.

    But this isnt really so surprising when you remember that a mole is just another word that stands for a number . We can have a pair of shoes and we can have a pair of elephants: we have two of each , but the two pairs definitely dont weigh the same.

    In the same way, a mole of hydrogen atoms weighs only 1.01 grams while a mole of lead weighs 207.2 grams. But 1.01 of hydrogen and 207.2 grams of lead both contain 6.02 x 1023 atoms.

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