Sequence of elements in the molecular formula

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Sequence of elements in the molecular formula

Postby 304621080 » Tue Oct 06, 2015 10:09 pm

When calculating the molecular formula, does the order of elements affect the answer? Some problems give the name of the compound element, for example caffeine; but, do no give the outline of the formula (CHNO). So, I was curious if the elements are listed in the proper order they appear in or if that is something that has to be determined.

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Re: Sequence of elements in the molecular formula

Postby Chem_Mod » Tue Oct 06, 2015 10:28 pm

As far as grading is concerned, it shouldn't matter what order you list the elements in your formula. You'll see as you progress in chemistry that we typically see trends (like methane is written as not but it should be okay if for a homework/test question you order them in the undesired order. To be safe, however, just follow the order that the question listed the elements and you should be fine! :)

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