A Mole: A Story

Discovered by Amedeo Avogadro (By Kayla Craft)

Please Don't Misunderstand!!

Hi! My name is Mole! People like to define me as the mass of a substance containing the same number of fundamental units as there are atoms in exactly 12.000 grams of Carbon 12, but I'd rather you call me a unit used to convert between grams and atomic mass units! I was created, or rather, adopted, by my father, Amedeo Avogadro, and the equation my father found. My real name is 6.022 X 10^23
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My Family History: Amedeo Avogadro

My father was born in 1776, in Italy. He grew up with my grandfather, who wanted him to study law as the others of his family did. Yet, Father got into science. His idea's weren't widely accepted for a long time, until after his death to be exact. But Avogadro didn't give up on me, and now his hypothesis is well known as Avogadro's law. The term "mole" was actually first introduced in 1900 by a guy named Ostwald, but it was associated with grams. Avogadro was the man to use the mole to link atomic units with grams.

In terms of his contribution to science, Avogadro published an idea in a paper that stated that equal volumes of all gases at the same temperature and pressure contain equal amounts of molecules. As a result of this, Avogadro was the first person to realize and support that elements could exist as molecules rather than individual atoms.

Of course, none of these ideas were believe until four years after Avogadro died, when Stanislao Cannizarro presented the ideas at a Karlsruhe Conference in 1860.
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The Inspiration Behind My Discovery

Avogadro was very much inspired by mainly two other scientists:

1) In 1808, John Dalton was making strides in science. He proposed the idea that all matter was made of atoms and those atoms in an element are identical. He continued on to say that each atom of different elements had different masses. He was incorrect, though, when he stated the way elements combined to make compounds, and Avogadro was the one to crack the code.

2) Avogadro was also very interested in Joseph Gay-Lussac, who, at the time, was figuring out all gases that he reacted seemed to react in simple volume ratios, and this led him to publish his law.

How I Work: Some Example Problems

Question 1: What is the mass of a mole of cats?
Since cats are my favorite animal, I can't help but wonder how much a mole of cats is. Can you imagine a mole of cats? It's basically heaven!!


If the average cat weighs 4.5 kg then: 4.5kg x (1000g/1kg)= 4500g. The average cat is 4500 grams.

Then to convert it to moles:
(4500g/ 1 mole) x (6.022x10^23)= 2.7 x 10^26 g is the mass of a mole of cats.

Question 2: How much could a mole of cookies cover?
Everyone loves cookies, right? A mole of cookies would just be a dream come true! You'd never have to bake cookies again!!!!

The area of a cookie:
Assuming that the diameter of a cookie is 6 inches, the radius is 3 inches. The area of a cookie would be 3.14x 3^2, which is 28.26 inches squared.

(28.26 inches squared/ 1 mol) x (6.022 x 10^23) = 1.7 x 10^24 inches square. A mole of cookies could cover 1.7 x 10^24 inches squared! That's a lot!!!