Today is a special day for all science enthusiasts. It’s International Mole Day. Now, you might probably assume that the day is dedicated to this small, furry, burrowing animal that mostly lives underground.
However, we are talking about its namesake, the mole that is used in chemistry. What’s that, you ask? Well, a Mole (sometimes, also spelt as mol), in chemistry is of great importance. It is a standard scientific unit that allows us to actually ‘count’ the number of atoms or molecules present in various substances, in a much more convenient way.
You can say that a mole is just a number. Just like,
A dozen = 12
A pair = 2
A mole = 6.02 × 10²³ ( a rather huge number since atoms and molecules are so small!)
So, one mole is the amount of a substance that contains 6.02 × 10²³ atoms or molecules. But why this specific number?
This number is known as the Avogadro constant (NA) and is named after the Italian scientist Amedeo Avogadro. He was a man of mathematics and physics who gave the hypothesis that equal volumes of different gases contain an equal number of molecules, provided they are at the same temperature and pressure. This molecular theory was later recognised by several scientists as Avogadro’s constant and the number 6.022 x 1023 as Avogadro’s number (NA).
Now that you got the basic understanding of a mole, let’s move on to ‘molar mass’. As you know, a mole of an element is the numeric equivalent of the atomic mass of that element, but in grams. Hence, the molar mass is the atomic mass in grams. In short,
For example, if the atomic mass unit (amu) of hydrogen is 1.01 then one mole of hydrogen weighs 1.01 grams.
Similarly, Carbon (C) =12.01 amu
1 mole of C = 12.01 grams
Want to learn more about Mole? Dive deep into the topic and learn about Molar mass, Stoichiometry (the field of chemistry that deals with measurements) and much more with this video.
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