So, the ratio of oxygen to aluminum in relative atomic masses is
If the aluminum oxide is a stoichiometric compound with whole‐number ratios of the constituent elements, the preceding quotient must be translated into a ratio of integers:
This ratio of integers implies that the formula for aluminum oxide is A1 2O 3. In simple compounds, the metallic elements are written before the nonmetals.
Most chemical compounds are stoichiometric, and you should be able to utilize the atomic masses and perform the following calculations:
- Mass percents from the chemical formula
- Chemical formula from the weight percents
These calculations are so basic to the field that you should go back and carefully review the two examples in this section: the calculation of mass percents in N 2O and the inference of the formula for aluminum oxide. Then you can practice stoichiometric calculations on the following pair of problems, which are answered and explained in the
appendix. Many such practice exercises are included in this book so that you can determine whether you understand the major concepts of chemistry. It is well worth your time to study these examples and their explanations in the
appendix until you can do the calculations correctly.
- Determine the mass percentages of the three elements in ammonium chloride, which has the formula NH 4C1.
- Infer the simplest chemical formula for potassium copper (II) fluoride, which has this analysis by mass: