- Shows the simplest whole number ratio of atoms of each element in a particle of the substance.
- Example: a compound contains 40.00% Carbon, 6.73% hydrogen and 53.27% oxygen by mass.
- Determine the empirical formula:
- C= 40/12.01=3.33
- O=53.27/16.00= 3.33
- Ratio is 3.33:6.66:3.33 = 1:2:1
- therefore empirical formula is CH20
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