The mole is the base unit of amount of substance in the International System of Units (SI). Effective 20 May 2019, the mole is defined as the amount of a chemical substance that contains exactly 6.02214076×1023 (Avogadro constant) constitutive particles, e.g., atoms, molecules, ions or electrons.
This definition was adopted in November 2018, revising its old definition based on the number of atoms in 12 grams of carbon-12 (12C) (the isotope of carbon with relative atomic mass 12 Da by definition). The mole is an SI base unit, with the unit symbol mol.
The mole is widely used in chemistry as a convenient way to express amounts of reactants and products of chemical reactions. For example, the chemical equation 2H2 + O2 → 2H2O can be interpreted to mean that 2 mol dihydrogen (H2) and 1 mol dioxygen (O2) react to form 2 mol water (H2O). The mole may also be used to represent the number of atoms, ions, or other entities in a given sample of a substance. The concentration of a solution is commonly expressed by its molarity, defined as the amount of dissolved substance per unit volume of solution, for which the unit typically used is moles per litre (mol/l), commonly abbreviated M.
The term gram-molecule was formerly used for essentially the same concept. The term gram-atom has been used for a related but distinct concept, namely a quantity of a substance that contains an Avogadro's number of atoms, whether isolated or combined in molecules. Thus, for example, 1 mole of MgBr2 is 1 gram-molecule of MgBr2 but 3 gram-atoms of MgBr2.
|Unit system||SI base unit|
|Unit of||Amount of substance|
Amount of substance is a measure of the quantity of substance proportional to the number of its entities. As of 2011, the mole was defined by International Bureau of Weights and Measures as:
Thus, by definition, one mole of pure 12C has a mass of exactly 12 g.
However, on 16 November 2018, after a meeting of scientists from more than 60 countries at the General Conference on Weights and Measures in Versailles, France, organised by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM), all SI Units were defined in terms of physical constants. This means that each SI unit, including the mole, will not be defined in terms of any physical objects but rather they will be defined by constants that are, in their nature, exact. Such changes will officially come into effect on 20 May 2019.
For example, one mole of hydrogen atoms will be defined as containing 6.02214076×1023 of hydrogen atoms, which has a mass of 1.008 grams.
The molar mass of a substance is the mass of a sample divided by the amount of substance in that sample. This is a constant for any given substance. Since the unified atomic mass unit (symbol: u or Da) is defined as 1/12 of the mass of the 12C atom, it follows that the molar mass of a substance, measured in grams per mole, is numerically equal to its mean atomic or molecular mass expressed in Da.
One can determine the amount of a known substance, in moles, by dividing the sample's mass by the substance's molar mass. Other methods include the use of the molar volume or the measurement of electric charge.
The mass of one mole of a substance depends not only on its molecular formula, but also on the proportions within the sample of the isotopes of each chemical element present in it. For example, the mass of one mole of calcium-40 is 39.96259098±0.00000022 grams, whereas the mass of one mole of calcium-42 is 41.95861801±0.00000027 grams, and of one mole of calcium with the normal isotopic mix is 40.078±0.004 grams.
Since the definition of the gram is not (as of 2011) mathematically tied to that of the atomic mass unit, the number of molecules per mole NA (the Avogadro constant) must be determined experimentally. The value adopted by CODATA in 2010 is NA = (6.02214129±0.00000027)×1023 mol−1. In 2011 the measurement was refined to (6.02214078±0.00000018)×1023 mol−1.
Mass and volume (properties of matter) are often used to quantify a sample of a substance. However, the volume changes with temperature and pressure. Similarly, due to relativistic effects, the mass of a sample changes with temperature, speed or gravity. This effect is very small at low temperature, speed or gravity, but at high speed like in a particle accelerator or theoretical space craft, the change is significant. The amount of substance remains the same regardless of temperature, pressure, speed or gravity, unless a (chemical or nuclear) reaction changes the number of particles.
The first table of standard atomic weight (atomic mass) was published by John Dalton (1766–1844) in 1805, based on a system in which the relative atomic mass of hydrogen was defined as 1. These relative atomic masses were based on the stoichiometric proportions of chemical reaction and compounds, a fact that greatly aided their acceptance: It was not necessary for a chemist to subscribe to atomic theory (an unproven hypothesis at the time) to make practical use of the tables. This would lead to some confusion between atomic masses (promoted by proponents of atomic theory) and equivalent weights (promoted by its opponents and which sometimes differed from relative atomic masses by an integer factor), which would last throughout much of the nineteenth century.
Jöns Jacob Berzelius (1779–1848) was instrumental in the determination of relative atomic masses to ever-increasing accuracy. He was also the first chemist to use oxygen as the standard to which other masses were referred. Oxygen is a useful standard, as, unlike hydrogen, it forms compounds with most other elements, especially metals. However, he chose to fix the atomic mass of oxygen as 100, which did not catch on.
Charles Frédéric Gerhardt (1816–56), Henri Victor Regnault (1810–78) and Stanislao Cannizzaro (1826–1910) expanded on Berzelius' works, resolving many of the problems of unknown stoichiometry of compounds, and the use of atomic masses attracted a large consensus by the time of the Karlsruhe Congress (1860). The convention had reverted to defining the atomic mass of hydrogen as 1, although at the level of precision of measurements at that time—relative uncertainties of around 1%—this was numerically equivalent to the later standard of oxygen = 16. However the chemical convenience of having oxygen as the primary atomic mass standard became ever more evident with advances in analytical chemistry and the need for ever more accurate atomic mass determinations.
Developments in mass spectrometry led to the adoption of oxygen-16 as the standard substance, in lieu of natural oxygen. The oxygen-16 definition of the mole was replaced with a mole based on carbon-12 during the 1960s. The four different definitions were equivalent to within 1%.
|Scale basis||Scale basis
relative to 12C = 12
from the 12C = 12 scale
|Atomic mass of hydrogen = 1||1.00794(7)||−0.788%|
|Atomic mass of oxygen = 16||15.9994(3)||+0.00375%|
|Relative atomic mass of 16O = 16||15.9949146221(15)||+0.0318%|
The name mole is an 1897 translation of the German unit Mol, coined by the chemist Wilhelm Ostwald in 1894 from the German word Molekül (molecule). However, the related concept of equivalent mass had been in use at least a century earlier.
The mole was made the seventh SI base unit in 1971 by the 14th CGPM. At the 26th CGPM the definition of the mole was changed from a number derived from a weight (the number of atoms in 12 grams of carbon-12, 12C) to directly being equal to Avogadro's constant.
In chemistry, it has been known since Proust's law of definite proportions (1794) that knowledge of the mass of each of the components in a chemical system is not sufficient to define the system. Amount of substance can be described as mass divided by Proust's "definite proportions", and contains information that is missing from the measurement of mass alone. As demonstrated by Dalton's law of partial pressures (1803), a measurement of mass is not even necessary to measure the amount of substance (although in practice it is usual). There are many physical relationships between amount of substance and other physical quantities, the most notable one being the ideal gas law (where the relationship was first demonstrated in 1857). The term "mole" was first used in a textbook describing these colligative properties.
Chemical engineers use the unit extensively, and decimal multiples may be more suitable for industrial use. For convenience in avoiding conversions in the imperial (or American customary units), some engineers adopted the pound-mole (notation lb-mol or lbmol), which is defined as the number of entities in 12 lb of 12C. One lb-mol is equal to 453.59237 mol, which value is the same as the number of grams in an international avoirdupois pound.
In the metric system, chemical engineers once used the kilogram-mole (notation kg-mol), which is defined as the number of entities in 12 kg of 12C, and often referred to the mole as the gram-mole (notation g-mol), when dealing with laboratory data.
Late 20th-century chemical engineering practice came to use the kilomole (kmol), which is numerically identical to the kilogram-mole, but whose name and symbol adopt the SI convention for standard multiples of metric units – thus, kmol means 1000 mol. This is analogous to the use of kg instead of g. The use of kmol is not only for "magnitude convenience" but also makes the equations used for modelling chemical engineering systems coherent. For example, the conversion of a flowrate of kg/s to kmol/s only requires the molecular mass without the factor 1000 unless the basic SI unit of mol/s were to be used.
Concentrations expressed as kmol/m3 are numerically the same as those in mol/dm3 i.e. the molarity conventionally used by chemists for bench measurements; this equality can be convenient when scaling up.
Greenhouse and growth chamber lighting for plants is sometimes expressed in micromoles per square meter per second, where 1 mol photons = 6.02×1023 photons.
The 26th meeting of the CGPM, in a formal vote on 16 November 2018, approved the proposed redefinition of SI base units mole, kilogram, ampere and kelvin. One mole of a substance will have exactly 6.02214076×1023 specified "elementary entities" of that substance. The definition of the mole will no longer be based on mass, and the new definitions will take effect 20 May 2019.
The SI units for molar concentration are mol/m3. However, most chemical literature traditionally uses mol/dm3, or mol dm−3, which is the same as mol/L. These traditional units are often denoted by a capital letter M (pronounced "molar"), sometimes preceded by an SI prefix, for example, millimoles per litre (mmol/L) or millimolar (mM), micromoles/litre (μmol/L) or micromolar (μM), or nanomoles/L (nmol/L) or nanomolar (nM).
The demal (D) is an obsolete unit for expressing the concentration of a solution. It is equal to molar concentration at 0 °C, i.e., 1 D represents 1 mol of the solute present in one cubic decimeter of the solution at 0 °C. It was first proposed in 1924 as a unit of concentration based on the decimeter rather than the liter; at the time there was a factor of 1.000028 difference between the liter and the cubic decimeter. The demal was used as a unit of concentration in electrolytic conductivity primary standards. These standards were later redefined in terms of molar concentration.
October 23, denoted 10/23 in the US, is recognized by some as Mole Day. It is an informal holiday in honor of the unit among chemists. The date is derived from the Avogadro number, which is approximately 6.022×1023. It starts at 6:02 a.m. and ends at 6:02 p.m. Alternatively, some chemists celebrate June 2 or February 6, a reference to the 6.02 part of the constant.
As 6.02 corresponds to 6th February, the School has adopted the date as their 'Mole Day'.
Carbon-12 (12C) is the more abundant of the two stable isotopes of carbon (Carbon-13 being the other), amounting to 98.93% of the element carbon; its abundance is due to the triple-alpha process by which it is created in stars. Carbon-12 is of particular importance in its use as the standard from which atomic masses of all nuclides are measured, thus, its atomic mass is exactly 12 daltons by definition. Carbon-12 is composed of 6 protons 6 neutrons and 6 electrons.Dalton's law
In chemistry and physics, Dalton's law (also called Dalton's law of partial pressures) states that in a mixture of non-reacting gases, the total pressure exerted is equal to the sum of the partial pressures of the individual gases. This empirical law was observed by John Dalton in 1801 and published in 1802. and is related to the ideal gas laws.Gram-mole
Gram-mole (more correctly Gram-molecule) is a synonym for Mole. See:
Molar massIndex of chemistry articles
Chemistry (from Egyptian kēme (chem), meaning "earth") is the physical science concerned with the composition, structure, and properties of matter, as well as the changes it undergoes during chemical reactions.Below is a list of chemistry-related articles. Chemical compounds are listed separately at list of organic compounds, list of inorganic compounds or list of biomolecules.Index of physics articles (M)
The index of physics articles is split into multiple pages due to its size.
To navigate by individual letter use the table of contents below.Partial pressure
In a mixture of gases, each constituent gas has a partial pressure which is the notional pressure of that constituent gas if it alone occupied the entire volume of the original mixture at the same temperature. The total pressure of an ideal gas mixture is the sum of the partial pressures of the gases in the mixture.
The partial pressure of a gas is a measure of thermodynamic activity of the gas's molecules. Gases dissolve, diffuse, and react according to their partial pressures, and not according to their concentrations in gas mixtures or liquids. This general property of gases is also true in chemical reactions of gases in biology. For example, the necessary amount of oxygen for human respiration, and the amount that is toxic, is set by the partial pressure of oxygen alone. This is true across a very wide range of different concentrations of oxygen present in various inhaled breathing gases or dissolved in blood. The partial pressures of oxygen and carbon dioxide are important parameters in tests of arterial blood gases, but can also be measured in, for example, cerebrospinal fluid.Solar neutrino unit
The solar neutrino unit (SNU) is a unit of Solar neutrino flux widely used in neutrino astronomy and radiochemical neutrino experiments. It is equal to the neutrino flux producing 10−36 captures per target atom per second. It is convenient given the very low event rates in radiochemical experiments. Typical rate is expected to be from tens SNU to hundred SNU.
In principle there are two ways of detecting solar neutrinos: radiochemical and real time experiments. The principle of radiochemical experiments is the reaction of the form
The daughter nucleus's decay is used in the detection. Production rate of the daughter nucleus is given by , where
With typical neutrino flux of 1010 cm−2 s−1 and a typical interaction cross section of about 10−45 cm2, about 1030 target atoms are required to produce one event per day. Taking into account that 1 mole is equal to 6.022×1023 atoms, this number corresponds to ktons of the target substances, whereas present neutrino detectors operate at much lower quantities of those.
|Derived units |
with special names
|Other accepted units|