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Chemistry LibreTexts

2.9: The Amount of Substance

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  • Chemists use the mole so often to measure how much of a substance is present that it is convenient to have a name for the quantity which this unit measures. In the International System this quantity is called the amount of substance and is given the symbol n. Here again a common English word has been given a very specific scientific meaning. Although amount might refer to volume or mass in everyday speech, in chemistry it does not. When a chemist asks what amount of Br2 was added to a test tube, an answer like “0.0678 mol Br2” is expected. This would indicate that 0.0678 × 6.022 × 1023 or 4.08 × 1022, Br2 molecules had been added to the test tube.

    Video \(\PageIndex{1}\): The word "mole" suggests a small, furry burrowing animal to many. But in this lesson, we look at the concept of the mole in chemistry. Learn the incredible magnitude of the mole--and how something so big can help us calculate the tiniest particles in the world. Lesson by Daniel Dulek, animation by Augenblick Studios.

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