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From the textbook, the empirical formula shows the relative number of atoms of each element in a compound by using the simplest whole-number subscripts. If you cannot simplify a molecular formula further, then it is also the empirical formula. An example is methane, which has both molecular formula and empirical formula CH4.
Also, a really handy trick with empirical and molecular formulas, is that if you're looking for the molecular formula of a compound, and you know the compound's molar mass (along with the empirical formula's molar mass), you can divide the compound's molar mass by the empirical formula's molar mass. Then, you can use that number to multiply with the subscripts of the empirical formula, which gives you the mystery compound's molecular formula.
As you may know, molecular formulas are a reduced form for empirical formulas. If molecular formulas can’t be reduced any further, that’s when the EF and MF are the same. For example, ethanol (C2H6O) can’t be reduced any further because there’s only one oxygen atom.
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