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To convince ourselves, we should repeat this process for many gaseous compounds of carbon, including ones that contain hydrogen and oxygen both. In every experiment, we find that the relative mass of carbon in each molecule is either 11.9 or a simple multiple of 11.9. It is never less than 11.9. We can conclude that the relative mass of a carbon atom on the same scale we have been using is 11.9. We can also conclude that Oxide A and Oxide B each contain one carbon atom, so the molecular formulas of Oxide A and Oxide B are CO and CO 2 .

This procedure can be used to find molecular formulas of compounds containing other non-gaseous elements. This is the actual procedure that was used around 1850 to provide the first set of relative atomic masses and the first definite molecular formulas for common compounds. This is a major stride forward from the postulates of the Atomic Molecular Theory.

As one last step, we note that the standard agreed on by chemists for the relative atomic masses does not take hydrogen to have mass 1.00. Rather, on the agreed upon scale, the relative atomic mass of hydrogen is 1.008, that of carbon is 12.01, that of nitrogen is 14.01, and that of oxygen is 15.999. These ratios are the same as the ones we observed in our calculations.

Chemical algebra: stoichiometry

In the Introduction , we decided that we could determine molecular formulas if we knew the relative atomic masses. At that point, we didn’t have the relative atomic masses, but now we do. Once we know all the relative atomic masses, we no longer need the Law of Combining Volumes and Avogadro’s Law to determine molecular formulas.

Let’s show this by an example, with a compound which contains only carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. An analysis from the Law of Definite Proportions gives us that the compound is 40.0% carbon, 53.3% oxygen, and 6.7% hydrogen by mass. In other words, if we have a 100.0 g sample of the compound, it consists of 40.0 g of carbon, 53.3 g of oxygen and 6.7 g of hydrogen. But we also know that the relative masses of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen are 12.01:15.99:1.008. This will allow us to determine the relative numbers of atoms of each type in the compound.

To do this, we create a method of chemical algebra. Let’s start by assuming that we have exactly N atoms of carbon, N atoms of hydrogen, and N atoms of oxygen. N is some very large number, and it doesn’t matter what it is, as long as we have taken the same N for all three elements. The relative mass of 1 carbon atom to 1 hydrogen atom is 12.01 to 1.008. Therefore the relative mass of N carbon atoms to N hydrogen atoms is also 12.01 to 1.008. Let’s pick a very specific N: let’s make N be whatever number it is such that that a sample of N carbon atoms has mass 12.01g. Interestingly, we don’t need to know what N is – we just need to find a sample of carbon which has a mass of 12.01 g.

What is the mass of N hydrogen atoms (for the exact same N)? It must be 1.008 g, since each hydrogen atom has mass ratio to each carbon atom 1.008 to 12.01. Therefore, if we weigh out a sample of carbon with mass 12.01 g and a sample of hydrogen with mass 1.008 g, we know that we have exactly the same number of atoms of each type.

Questions & Answers

what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Concept development studies in chemistry 2013. OpenStax CNX. Oct 07, 2013 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11579/1.1
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