**Topic 2 - Moles and Equations**

**Before you do anything else, you need to revise what you have learnt at GCSE. ****This** **website is an excellent place to start.**

**Relative Atomic Mass**

The mass of an atom is tiny. A single hydrogen atom is only about 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 000 002 grams! Dealing with such small numbers is difficult. Therefore, scientists found a simpler way of comparing the mass of different atoms. They chose the carbon atom and compared all the other atoms with it. Since a carbon atom consists of 6 protons and 6 neutrons, they gave it a mass of 12 units (they ignored the electrons). The mass of an atom relative to that of carbon-12 is called the Relative Atomic Mass. If we compare the mass of a hydrogen atom with that of the carbon-12, we find its mass is a 1/12th of the carbon-12 atom. Therefore, a hydrogen atom is assigned the mass unit 1. When a magnesium atom was compared, its mass was found to be twice that of carbon-12, therefore magnesium was assigned the mass unit 24.

**Mass and Isotopes**Many elements possess atoms with differing masses due to them having different numbers of neutrons.

he atoms shown above belong to the isotopes of chlorine. They have different masses because one has two more neutrons than the other. Also it was found that chlorine-35 is more abundant than chlorine-37. For every four chlorine atoms, one will be a chlorine-37 the other three will be chlorine-35. Therefore, the average mass of a chlorine atom is 35.5. The presence of isotopes and their abundances must be taken into account when calculating Relative Atomic Mass (RAM). The RAM of an element is the average mass of its isotopes relative to an atom of carbon-12

**.**

Avogadro's Number-

Avogadro's Number-

*The Magic Number!*If
you calculate the RAM of a substance, and then weigh out that number of
grams of the substance you can calculate the number of atoms or
molecules that it contains. Carbon has a RAM of 12, if you were to
weigh out exactly12 grams of carbon it would contain 602 000 000 000 000
000 000 000 carbon atoms. This is called a mole of atoms. The number
is called Avogadro's number, usually written as 6.02 x 10^{23}.** **

**One mole of a substance is 6.02 x 10 ^{23} particles of that substance. It is obtained by weighing out th**

**e RAM or the formula mass in grams**

**.**

**Examples:**

- 24 grams of magnesium would contain 6.02 x 10
^{23}magnesium atoms. - 56 grams of iron would contain 6.02 x 10
^{23}iron atoms. - 18 grams of water would contain 6.02 x 10
^{23}water molecules.

**Four steps to writing equations:**

- Write the equation in words
- Write the equation in symbols. Check that you are using the correct formulae.
- Check that the equation is balanced. Balancing means that you have the same number of atom on one side as you do on the other. The reason for balancing is because atoms are not lost or created during a reaction. Remember when you balance you multiply the whole formulae whether its an element or molecule - you do not change its formulae.
- Add state symbols.

**Example 1:**

**Magnesium burns in oxygen to produce magnesium oxide.**

Because oxygen has two atoms on the left, we multiply by 2 the MgO so that we now have 2 oxygen atoms on the right. However we now have two magnesium atoms on the right, so we need to multiply Mg by 2 on the left to balance.

**Example 2:**

**Hydrogen gas reacts with oxygen gas to form water when a spark is placed in the mixture.**

There are two oxygen atoms on the left but only one on the right. Hence we need to multiply the H_{2}O
on the right by 2. This gives us two oxygen atoms on both sides but we
are now left with only two hydrogens on the left and four hydrogen
atoms on the right. Therefore, we multiply the H_{2} by 2.