Chemistry is a fascinating science that allows us to understand and manipulate the materials around us. One of the fundamental properties of substances is its molecular mass, which is the sum of the masses of the atoms that make up a molecule. Molecular mass is an important property for many chemical and biochemical applications, and is used to describe the mass of a substance in terms of molecules.
In this article, we will explore in detail what is relative mass in chemistry and the characteristics of molecular mass. From its definition and expression, to its importance in the identification of compounds and the determination of the physical properties of materials. This article will provide a complete and practical overview of relative mass.
Meaning and definition of relative mass
This process is also known as molecular weight, which tends to resemble the referent atomic. In the first, its unitless number tells us how many quantities of weight is inside a single molecule. Its calculation is quite simple, since its steps are made up of adding all the atoms that make up the particle.
In the addition of the masses of each of the corpuscles that a molecule possesses, a respective scale is obtained. For example, in hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon, and oxygen it is 1, 14, 12, and 16, in that relevant order. When speaking of the relative mass of water, it is understood that it has two H₂O atoms and one hydrogen. Which would be something like this calculation 2+16 having the result of 18.
One of the great chemists who carried out the study of ways to determine the relative mass was Amedeo Avogadro. As well as the proportions in which some combinations of the molecules that are elemental to bodies should enter. Both of the simple ones, and also of the densities that are expected of each one of them.
What is the relative atomic mass of atoms?
It is all that weight that makes up a particle, mostly expressed in units called mass of the unified molecule. When referring to it, we are addressing one isotope at a time, taking a weighted average. Where several of the elements have one that will be the dominant one.
The similarity and numerical difference of the atomic mass of the most frequent isotope and the relative is small. As well as the weight of the particle in question, so it does not affect when we talk about large calculations. Although this can be considered a quite harmful error if it occurs in separated atoms.
The relative mass of the corpuscle can be considered as a synonym for the weight of the particle, since both are closely related. The average weight of the masses of the molecules of certain particles of a respective chemical element is the sample. Its characteristic will always be weighted by the abundance of isotopes it possesses.
The standard atomic weight is the same as the relative particle masses, although it is slightly less specific. In the second case, focuses on terrestrial environments and those that do not, which are essential to deviate from their mean. Also those that have certainties, various numbers of figures, which can become significant.
The relative mass of the isotopes it is much more specific compared to a nuclide. For these must have exactly a complete number of masses within certain corresponding scales.
Everything will depend on the difference in the weight of neutrons and protons that affect the total mass. Compared with the relationship of both is given by the various ratios that are had. Since if an exact figure is not given it is because there is a loss or gain of mass unlike the energy of the nuclear bond.
Any defects obtained during this process will represent less than 1% of the result. So we’re talking about a very small fraction where they might differ in mass. So in most cases we round the atomic weight to the nearest whole number.
Its result should always be a fairly simple integer, as it will be the total sum of the nucleons. To carry out the count of neutrons, a subtraction of the atomic number must be made.
What is the relative atomic mass of the elements?
It is that total mass that is expressed with atomic mass units, better known by its acronym “amu”. As a rule, the carbon atom which has six neutrons, will have an atomic weight of 12 amu. In some rare situations, certain types of atoms do not have whole number atomic masses. The simplest thing is that the atomic mass of a specific atom is going to be close to the number of its mass. There may be certain differences between the two, but it will only be by decimals.
Because the isotopes of the element have different atomic masses, the relative atomic mass of the element is determined. The result of this will be an average between the different isotopes of a sample. With the contribution of each of these, it is possible to determine the amount that is included in the model. on the periodic table the relative atomic masses of the elements appear. Which are calculated with the natural isotopes of each one. So they are weighted on the basis of the abundance found in the earth of the element.
What is relative mass in a chemical reaction?
It is the number that tells us how many times the mass of the molecule of the substance is greater. This compared to 1/12 of the weight of the isotope of carbon that would be 12 amu. It can be calculated by adding the relative atomic masses of the element of the particles that make up a molecule in the substance.
What is the difference between relative mass and absolute mass?
The relative mass is equal to the atomic weight of a chemical element from a certain source in particular, so it is its average mass. Weighted with respect to the atomic masses of all particles that occur in a particular sample. Likewise, these are elevated by the abundance that is within the isotopes.
The atomic mass unit is “u” and represents 1/12 of the mass of the C 12 isotope. This indicates how many times greater the weight of the molecule of the substance is. Compared to the union of the atomic weight. Its quantity is appreciated with the Dalton or also called atomic mass unit.
On the other hand, when we talk about absolute mass, we refer to the mass of the molecule or particle, but it is expressed in grams. That is the first and great difference between the two, and what each one is characterized by. Its equivalent is the molecular weight, since it contains one mole of the particles in that substance. Another of its differences is that the absolute mass is that of a specific atom, most of which are isolated. Compared to relative weight, which is an average of the mass of all the particles in a molecule.
How important is relative mass?
Within the world of chemistry, its use is very notable for the mass number of each element. Since, thanks to it, it is possible to quantify all that phenomenon that you want to carry out in order to study it. In chemical reactions, when they are in development, stoichiometric calculations can be made. In order to delimit the amounts that are involved, all this with great precision. And of course it is given thanks to the use of atomic mass.
It also allows us to extract the specific components that are of interest to us. As of some raw material, this without having to throw away all the rest. It gives us the option of being able to obtain the elements in their pure state, which is something quite complicated.
It is one of the most important units around chemistry. It allows study some reactions that are given from certain proportions that the participating materials have. Wherein several of these cannot be weighed in an ordinary way.
In the context of cancer, relative mass can be used to describe the number of cancer cells in relation to healthy cells in the body. If a person have a large number of cancer cells, their relative mass relative to healthy cells will be high, which may indicate that the disease is advancing.
How is the relative atomic mass determined?
It is quite simple to perform this type of calculation. The first thing we must do is multiply the weight of the particle corresponding number of each isotope by abundance. The results are only added, and then divided by 100. Which would look something like this:
- Atomic mass= isotope atomic mass 1 x relative abundance 1 + isotope atomic mass 2 x relative abundance 2 / 100
Although sometimes they are names so similar that they get confused with each other. It is possible to notice the difference of each one of them when calculating or take them separately for a respective study. And even more so when talking specifically about issues that are not going to give results in an ordinary way.
We can highlight that the whole process that entails the meaning of relative masses in the area of chemistry. It has worked as a bridge and denouement for many other contributions within the scientific environment. These concepts have become a foundation in the study of the matter in question. In order to expedite some essential calculations.