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Single Step Solution


Fatima Ali

What is a Mole?
1. A mole is a word which represents a number.
Like the word "dozen" represents the number 12,
so "mole" represents the number 6 x 1023.
This number is also called Avogadro's Number
It is a very very big number (6 followed by 23 zeros).
In the same way that you can
have a dozen atoms, or cars, or apples,
so you can also have a mole of atoms, or cars, or apples
(though it would take you a long time to eat them all!).
Needless to say, chemists are concerned
with atoms, ions and molecules . Hence they need to use such a
big number.
2. A mole is defined as the
number of atoms in exactly 12 grams of 12C (carbon twelve).
The number is called Avogadro's Number.
In the above definition, 12 is the mass number of carbon.
So, one mole of carbon atoms has a mass of 12 grams.
The relative atomic mass, which can be written as Ar,
is the number just above the element in the periodic table

Just as one mole of carbon atoms has a mass of 12 g(molar

mass),so the mass of one mole of the atoms of any element
is its "relative atomic mass" in grams.
For example,
look up the relative atomic mass of sodium (Na)

One mole of sodium has a mass of 23 g or simply Molar mass of

Na = 23g.
One mole of
helium has a mass of 4 g or Molar mass of helium=4g,
neon has a mass of 20 g or Molar mass of neon= 20g,
magnesium has a mass of 24 g or Molar mass of Mg= 24g

This is easy for elements that exist as atoms.

What about elements that exist as molecules or compounds?
Hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen and the halogens
exist as diatomic molecules (molecules containing two atoms).
One mole of hydrogen (H2) molecules has a mass = 2 x Ar
of hydrogen.
This is because each molecule of hydrogen contains two atoms
and the "relative atomic mass" is the relative mass of one atom.
So, one mole of hydrogen molecules has a mass of 2 g (2 x 1).
This is called the relative molecular mass (Mr)

One mole of nitrogen (N2) molecules (Ar = 14)

has a mass of 2 x 14 grams, = 28 g. (Mr = 28) so we can say

Molar mass
mass of
of a
a molecule=
molecule= Mr
Mr in
in grams
To find the mass of one mole of a compound,
just add up all the Ar s of the elements of the compound,
taking account of the formula.
Molar mass of a compound= Sum of Ar of all the elements in the
The mass of one mole of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) is
(1 x Ar of calcium) + (1 x Ar of carbon) + (3 x Ar of oxygen)
= (1 x 40) + (1 x 12) + (3 x 16) = 100 g.
So, one mole of calcium carbonate has a mass of 100 g.
Molar mass of CaCO3 = 100g
The Relative Formula Mass of calcium carbonate is 100.
Note: Since ionic compounds do not exist in the form of molecules
so we use the term formula mass instead of molecular mass for

Moles-grams and moles-particles


Percentage composition of a compound

Sometimes scientists need to find out the percentage of a
certain element in a compound e.g %age of iron in iron
ores, etc.
Think about how you calculate your percentage using
your obtained marks in a certain subject. Now apply the
same method for calculating percentage of any element
by mass in a compound.
Suppose you need to calculate the percentage of oxygen
in water.

Lets say Mr of H2O is equivalent to total marks

Ar of O is equivalent to obtained marks.
So the percentage of Oxygen in water= Ar of O/Mr of H2O
X 100%
For calculating %age of H in water, multiply Ar of H by 2
first and then apply the rest of the method, since there
are 2 atoms of H in water.
Practice questions