So, what actually is a mole?

  • Google+ icon
  • LinkedIn icon
  • 920 views

A mole is simply a unit of measurement of any substance that contains as many atoms as there are in 12 grams of Carbon-12.

 

Why Carbon-12?

Carbon-12 is the standard by which we compare the mass of any other molecule however; it was not the first option. Originally Hydrogen-1 was used but this was soon discarded as they realized that because of its low mass it was very inaccurate. This is because Hydrogen-1 had a mass of 1.007825- you can imagine how hard it would be to calculate precisely every time! Whereas, Carbon-12 has a mass of 12.000000 so this allows for more precise answers when working out the mass of other molecules.

Patrick Q. Mentoring -Medical School Preparation- tutor, GCSE Chemist...

About the author

is an online GCSE Chemistry tutor with MyTutor studying at Bristol University

Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist.

95% of our customers rate us

Browse tutors

We use cookies to improve your site experience. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok