HON CHEMISTRY: Awesome job today!! You just about figured out how to find an empirical formula all by yourself! I love the way you were able to think through what you knew and what you needed to find a solution!
Be sure and practice – if you don’t it’ll get all turned around and you’ll end up leaving off an important step. The hardest part is that it’s not a set formula for you to plug and play, but if you’ll keep in mind that you’re really just looking for subscripts which are just moles, you’ll be able to think it through. Percent to mass, mass to moles, moles to smallest whole number ratio.
Are you starting to catch on to the steps? It will be good for you to memorize them, but would it not be just tons better to understand why you need each step – backwards and forwards, so then you wouldn’t need to memorize them at all!
And then, also remember what molecular formulas are – just a multiple of the empirical formula. Keep that concept in mind, and you’ll have no problem remembering to divide the molecular formula mass by the empirical formula mass to find X! Easy peasy! 🙂
flickr photo by Darwin Bell