2015 Science News

The Mole Edition

Mole Day @ TCM

October 23rd is National Mole Day.

Question: What Is a Mole and Why Are Moles Used?

Answer: A mole is simply a unit of measurement. Units are invented when existing units are inadequate. Chemical reactions often take place at levels where using grams wouldn't make sense, yet using absolute numbers of atoms/molecules/ions would be confusing, too. A mole is the quantity of anything that has the same number of particles found in 12.000 grams of carbon-12. That number of particles is Avogadro's Number, which is roughly 6.02x1023. A mole of carbon atoms is 6.02x1023 carbon atoms. A mole of chemistry teachers is 6.02x1023 chemistry teachers. It's a lot easier to write the word 'mole' than to write '6.02x1023' anytime you want to refer to a large number of things! Basically, that's why this particular unit was invented.


Which Elements do these Moles represent?

Do you want to see more?

Each student choose an element from the periodic table to represent their mole. After they found the mass of their mole, each student converted the mass (in grams) into moles and then particles. Visit my Chemistry class page to see what a Great Job our TCM students did constructing their moles for Mole Day.