What is Avogadro’s number?

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In the field of chemistry, Avogadro’s number refers to the number of units or particles in a given mole of substance.  Moles in chemistry represent the actual measure of the contents or units of a particular substance.  The unit or particle components of moles are then added up to come up with the Avogadro’s number.  Depending on the substance measured, the particles typically contain the total electron, proton, neutron, ion, and/or molecules.  In mathematical expression, Avogadro’s number is 6.0221415 x 10 raised to the power of 23.  This number is the actual representation for one mole of a substance.

The term “Avogadro” is a reference to Amedeo Avogadro, the chemist who first introduced the concept of quantifying moles or the actual number of particles and units in a given substance.  It was said that Avogadro’s theories were based on existing chemistry laws from Joseph Gay-Lussac and John Dalton. Both Dalton and Lussac were already able to establish that combining two substances will only mean that the volume of the contents or units will be combined with no unit leftover.  With this existing chemistry idea, Avogadro tried to determine that the law on combining of volumes was indeed accurate in terms of the substance units and particles.  His own findings led to the creation of the so-called Avogadro law stating that adding equal volumes of two different substances will yield an equal set of units or particles if the temperature and pressure remains constant.

Avogadro’s law eventually paved the way to the determination of the unit for one mole which is Avogadro’s number.  Using Carbon-12 as the base substance, the atomic mass unit was determined.  In order for chemists to find a way to measure the actual atomic mass of substances, they must have some basis in terms of the number of particles contained in it.  The number of particles was then referred to as Avogadro’s number and this number also represents to the substance’s atomic mass unit.

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