Skip to main content
Chemistry LibreTexts

2.9: The Amount of Substance

  • Page ID
    206768
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)\(\newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    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.

    This page titled 2.9: The Amount of Substance is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Ed Vitz, John W. Moore, Justin Shorb, Xavier Prat-Resina, Tim Wendorff, & Adam Hahn.

    • Was this article helpful?