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When given a visual representation of a molecule it is possible to write both its empirical and molecular formulas, however, I am having a bit of confusion when it comes to doing so. Is it correct to count the number of elements for the molecular formula? What about the empirical formula?
The definition of molecular formula is the actual formula of the molecule.Therefore, counting the number of each element should be fine if you are looking to find the molecular formula. The molecular formula has the smallest possible numbers that you are able to simplify. If you have C4H8O2, it can be simplified to C2H4O. C2H4O would be the molecular formula. If the visual representation provides an equation that can not be simplified, then that is the molecular formula.
The molecular formula contains information how many atoms of each type a molecule possesses. So, when given a structure, you can simply count the number of atoms to get the molecular formula. The empirical formula represents the small possible ratio of atoms that a molecule has. So if the molecular formula is C4H8O2, then the empirical formula is C2H4O.
For the molecular formula, you count the number of each element, for example 12 Hydrogen, 6 Carbon, and 6 Oxygen. so that would give a molecular formula of C6H12O6, then to find empirical you divide by the lowest common factor, in this case it's 6. so the empirical formula would be CH2O.
Adding on to this! I'm not sure if it matters, but how do you arrange the elements in a chemical formula? As in, is there an order to put the elements in while answering a question where you're asked to write the molecular and empirical formulas?
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