These notes were written for the old IB syllabus (2009). The new IB syllabus for first examinations 2016 can be accessed by clicking the link below.
IB syllabus for first examinations 2016
Mole concept & Avogadro’s constant
1.1.1: Describe the mole concept and apply it to substances.
The structure of matter
It is now accepted that matter in all its forms is made up of indivisible
|Giant ionic structure||giant covalent structure||simple covalent||giant metallic structure|
Molecules are made up of two or more atoms chemically bonded together.
Ions are specialised atoms or groups of atoms chemically combined together
that have lost or gained electrons and posess an overall electrical charge.
The fundamental particle that is the building block of matter is therefore
the atom. There are about 90 naturally occuring types of atoms each with
a different arrangement of sub-atomic particles (protons, neutrons and
electrons) and consequently different masses.
The structure of matter is one of the following:
- atoms —> molecules —> bulk compound or element
- atoms —> bulk element
- atoms —> ions —> bulk ionic compound
The masses that are measured in the laboratory are masses corresponding
to vast numbers of tiny atoms or molecules. Logically atoms that are heavier
will register larger masses for equal numbers of atoms.
Relative atomic mass
If one carbon atom has a mass of 12 atomic mass units and one magnesium
atom has a mass of 24 atomic mass units, then as a magnesium atom is twice
as heavy as a carbon atom it follows that this ratio will be maintained
for any number of atoms.
On the atomic mass scale the carbon 12 isotope is designated a value
of 12 atomic mass units and all other masses are measured relative to
this (relative atomic mass)
The mole concept
It is convenient to consider the number of atoms needed to make 12g of
carbon and for this number to be given a name – one mole of carbon atoms.
This allows us to talk about relative quantities of substances in the
macroscopic world and to know the relative number of atoms (or smallest
particles) in each bulk substance.
The actual number of atoms that is needed to give the relative atomic
mass expressed in grams is called Avogadro’s number (symbol L)
Avogadro’s number = 6,02 x 1023
Definition of a mole
There are two useful definitions.
- The relative atomic (molecular) mass of a substance expressed in grams
- An Avogadro number of particles of any substance
one mole of carbon = 12 g
magnesium atoms are twice as heavy as carbon atoms therefore 1
equal masses of carbon and magnesium contain different numbers
6g of carbon contains 6/12 moles of carbon =0,5 moles
6g of magnesium contains 6/24 moles of magnesium =0,25 moles
Sodium carbonate crystals (27.8230g) were dissolved in water and
48.8 cm3 of 0.1M HCl = 0.00488moles
Na2CO3 + 2HCl –> NaCl + CO2 + H2O
therefore moles of Na2CO3 = 0.00488/2 = 0.00244moles
This is in 25cm3 therefore the moles in 1000cm3 = 0.00244/0.025
If the formula = Na2CO3.nH2O
Then the neutralisation has measured only the Na2CO3
Therefore the mass of Na2CO3 = RMM x no of
The remaining mass must be due to water = 27.823 – 10.3456 = 17.4774g
RMM of water = 18 therefore this is equivalent to 17.4774/18 moles
Thuus the mole ratio of Na2CO3 to water in
or approximately 1 :10
The formula is therefore Na2CO3.10H2O
How many atoms are ther in 24g carbon
24g of carbon = 24/12 moles = 2 moles
1 mole of atoms = 6,02 x 1023
therefore 2 moles of carbon contains 2 x 6,02 x 1023
1.1.2: Calculate the number of particles and the amount
of substance (in moles). Convert between the amount of substance (in moles)
and the number of atoms, molecules or formula units
1 mole = 6.02 x 1023 formula units of that substance.
We can also talk about the atoms within molecules.
For example 1 mole of water contains 2 moles of hydrogen atoms and 1
mole of oxyten atoms. It is a simple matter of multiplying the moles of
the compound by the atoms or ions that make it up.
Having problems with this topic?
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CS1 Colourful Solutions – download a trial run today.
IB Chemistry 1 SL Questions
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- Mole (Unit)
- Chemical Compounds
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