Determining Chemical Formulas

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In chemistry, chemical formulas are for compounds as are IDs for humans.


Molecular Formula


The formula of a compound that states the actual number of each kind of atom found in one molecule of the compound is the molecular formula of that compound.


Empirical Formula


The formula of a compound that expresses the smallest whole number ratio of the atoms present is the empirical formula of that compound.

 REMEMBER: IONIC FORMULAS ARE ALWAYS EMPIRICAL FORMULAS                            


From Molecular to Empirical Formula


To transform a molecular formula to an empirical formula, one must remove the common factor whilst maintaining whole numbers.

 C6H12O6 -> CH2O The common ratio of 1:2:1 is maintained and reduced.
                         


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