Experiment 1: Finding the Formula of a Compound for AP Chemistry
For a quick review on stoichiometry, refer to the following concepts:
- Moles, Molar Mass, and Molarity for AP Chemistry
- Percent Composition and Empirical Formulas for AP Chemistry
- Reaction Stoichiometry for AP Chemistry
- Limiting Reactants for AP Chemistry
- Percent Yield for AP Chemistry
The formula of a compound is determined by using the mass of the original substance, usually a metal, and the mass of a compound of that substance, usually an oxide.
- analytical balance
- crucible and cover
- support stand
- triangle crucible support
- the mass of the crucible and cover
- the mass of the original sample and the crucible and cover
- the mass of the reacted sample and the crucible and cover
The last measurement must be done after the sample has cooled to room temperature.
The mass of the sample is calculated by taking the difference between masses 1 and 2. The mass of the substance that combined with the original substance is calculated from the difference between masses 2 and 3. The moles of the substances must be calculated by dividing each mass by the molar mass of the substance. The empirical formula is calculated from the simplest ratio of the moles of the elements present.
This procedure will allow you to calculate the empirical formula of the substance. The experiment is often performed by reacting magnesium metal with atmospheric oxygen to form magnesium oxide.
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