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Once you divide the each of the number of moles of each type of atom by the smallest value you usually get a whole number right away. But I was wondering what to do if you get a number that is slightly off, for example if you get 4.03 is it okay to use 4 for the number of atoms in the empirical formula? I know if you get 1.33, for example, you should multiply by 3 to get a whole, but in the case of a number like 4.03 it doesn't really make sense to multiply, so should I just use 4?
Yeah if it’s very close to a whole number you don’t have to worry about it. 4.03 is close enough to 4!
Yes, when a number can be rounded from the hundredth's place it is okay to round up or down to a whole number (ex: 4.03 can be rounded to 4, and 3.98 can be rounded to 4). However if a number can't be rounded from the hundredth's place to reach a whole number, then it should be multiplied by a factor to get the smallest whole number possible. (ex: 2.5 can't be rounded so you would multiply by a factor of 2 to get 5)
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