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Posted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:32 pm
So I was doing E5 on the textbook and it asks how many moles of people inhabit Earth if the estimated population is 7.0 billion people. This made me question the definition of 1 mole and Avogadro's number.

Posted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:40 pm
1 mole just means 6.022 * 10^23 number of things. It is just like how you would say I have a dozen eggs, where dozen refers to "12". You can have 1 mole of atoms, 1 mole of eggs, or in this case, 1 mole of humans. For this question, to find how many moles of humans there are on Earth, simply divide 7.0 billion by 6.022 * 10^23 and you get 1.2 * 10^-14 moles of humans.

Posted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:42 pm
I think what this question is getting at is just how large the unit of a "mole" is. Even though it seems strange to think that the world does not even have close to one mole of people, this unit is useful when used in the context of atoms, as a mole of atoms can be held in your hand. Since Avogadro's number is so large, it is a useful unit in quantifying very small particles, such as atoms and molecules.

Posted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:28 pm
Try to think 1 mole as 1 dozen. Just as one dozen refers to 12 of some object, 1 mole refers to 6.022*10^23 of something. Avogadro's number is simply 6.022*10^23. Hope this can help.