The Formula Of Magnesium Oxide

1301 Words Mar 3rd, 2016 6 Pages
The purpose of this experiment is to verify the formula of magnesium oxide based on the masses of magnesium and the product (MgO). We verify the formula firstly by calculating the empirical formula of magnesium oxide and then calculating creating the magnesium oxide itself- a magnesium ribbon is combined with oxygen in the presence of air through combustion and this forms MgO. The empirical formula of a compound is the simplest method of expressing a chemical formula in whole-number ratios of the constituent atoms that are consistent with masses measured in the experiment; whereas the molecular formula expresses the chemical formula using the actual number of atoms. For example, the molecular formula of anthracene is C14H10 while the empirical formula is C7H5.
Because of the Law of Definite Proportions, when the elements of magnesium and oxygen chemically react to form a compound they do so in definite proportions by weight. The Law of Definite Proportions states that if elements form a compound, they must combine in definite proportions by weight. This means that all atoms form chemical compounds by combining in whole number ratios. Take for example the elements of hydrogen and oxygen: they can combine to make water (H2O) but in other conditions can combine to make hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). In both examples the ratio stays the same. Likewise, in this experiment the elements magnesium and oxygen combine in whole-number ratios. We have hypothesized that magnesium and oxygen…
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