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When calculating the empirical formula and calculating whole atoms by dividing by the smallest value, can I round if the number I get is not a whole number? For example if I got something like 4.93, could I round it to 5?
You can round the number. When calculating the empirical formula you often get numbers that are really close to whole numbers like 3.997 or 2.003. But if you get something like 6.667, consider multiplying it by a factor that gets you close to a whole number, like 3 in this case.
When dividing by the smallest value in solving for the empirical formula, you should usually get a whole number or a number very close to a whole number. In the instances where you get ".99 or .97", I would say rounding up to get the ratios would be appropriate. However if you calculate a ratio to be ".43" I would look over the work first and make sure all calculations are correct
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