Learn how to write chemical formulas

Chemistry is such an exciting subject. In fact, if you study Chemistry you may, one day, have the opportunity to change or save lives; that is how powerful the subject is. However, it is a subject that you have to take seriously and concentrate on. The reason for this is, if you make an uninformed choice while conducting experiments, you could cause an explosion. Fundamentally, it has the influence to terrorize or to heal and therefore, it must be treated with the greatest of respect.

Alternatively, Chemistry takes place everywhere, every day and sometimes people fail to recognise that it is Chemistry. For instance, when you decide to bake some scones yourself. You begin by using flour, butter, a small amount of sugar, milk and dried fruits. However, when you mix them together and bake them, they change forever because chemical processes take place; that is the magic of the subject that you are studying.

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If you are struggling to understand how to write chemical formulas, then it may make it clearer if you realise that chemical formulas are merely a form of shorthand. Let’s investigate this further by using a commodity that we are all familiar with – water. At one point, scientists needed to understand what water was made up, in other words, which chemicals are mixed together to make water. This is all a chemical formula is – it is understanding which chemicals are mixed together.

It was discovered that water was made up of two atoms of Hydrogen and 1 atom of Oxygen. When those atoms are combined, they make one molecule of Water. The problem is that if scientists had to write that out every time they wanted to conduct an experiment, it would make the whole process rambling and complicated. Also, they would not be able to make snap judgements simply by looking at it. This is why chemical formulas are used.

To make it easier to interpret chemical formulas symbols are used to describe them. For instance, H would be used for Hydrogen and O would be used for Oxygen. To make it even easier to understand what constitutes a formula, if H is used this means that it also measures how much Hydrogen is in the formula. H without any other number means that there is only one atom of Hydrogen present. However, in the chemical formula for Water, there are two atoms of Hydrogen present. Therefore, in the Chemical formula for Water, Hydrogen is represented as H2. As we move onto Oxygen, we discover that there is only one atom of Oxygen in Water and so this is demonstrated as a single O. The symbols are then put together to illustrate that H2O is the chemical formula for Water.

If you need to learn how to write chemical formulas, the best way is to practise, practise, practise. For instance,

  • Carbon Dioxide. To write the chemical formula for Carbon Dioxide, you need to know that it is made up of one atom of Carbon and two atoms of Dioxide. Therefore, all you have to do to write the chemical formula for it is CO2.
  • Sugar. To write the chemical formula for sugar, you need to know that it is made up of Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen. The exact formula is that there are six atoms of Carbon to every twelve atoms of Hydrogen and six atoms of Oxygen. Subsequently, this means that to write the chemical formula for sugar, you need to put C6H12O6.
  • Ammonia. This is an interesting one because the other chemical formulas that we have investigated have been made up of more than one chemical element whereas Ammonia is simply made up of Nihonium. It is made up of three atoms of it and the chemical element for Nihonium is Nh, therefore, to write the chemical formula for Ammonia, you would write Nh3.
  • Salt. Salt, like sugar and water is used every day; often without a second thought to what it is actually made up of. Being a mixture of Sodium and Chloride that are of equal parts, you can use the chemical formula NaCI to represent Salt.

Hopefully, after reading this article, you will now know how to write chemical formulas, however, if you are struggling with the symbols or any other part of it, you may need some help. This often happens to students when they have a heavy workload, it is often stress that makes thoughts become confused. When the stress is lifted, it is amazing how clarity about subjects returns. Don’t worry, we offer a full range of services that can help you. these include:

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