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The following is a crude but effective method for estimating the order of magnitude of Avogadro's number using stearic acid $\left(\mathrm{C}_{18} \mathrm{H}_{36} \mathrm{O}_{2}\right)$ shown here. When stearic acid is added to water, its molecules collect at the surface and form a monolayer; that is, the layer is only one molecule thick. The crosssectional area of each stearic acid molecule has been measured to be $0.21 \mathrm{nm}^{2} .$ In one experiment it is found that $1.4 \times 10^{-4} \mathrm{g}$ of stearic acid is needed to form a monolayer over water in a dish of diameter $20 \mathrm{cm} .$ Based on these measurements, what is Avogadro's number?

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$x=3.1 \times 10^{23}$

Chemistry 101

Chapter 3

Mass Relationships in Chemical Reactions

Chemical reactions and Stoichiometry

Adebayo J.

March 18, 2021

The following is a crude but effective method for estimating the order of magnitude of avogadro's number using stearic acid.

Carleton College

University of Kentucky

Lectures

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A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the transformation of one set of chemical substances to another. Chemical reactions can be either spontaneous, requiring no input of energy, or non-spontaneous, typically following the input of some type of energy, such as heat, light or electricity. Chemical reactions are usually characterized by a chemical change, and they yield one or more products after the reaction is complete. Chemical reactions are described with chemical equations, which symbolically present the starting materials, end products, and sometimes intermediate products and reaction conditions. Chemical reactions happen at a characteristic reaction rate at a given temperature and chemical concentration. Typically, reaction rates increase with increasing temperature because there is more thermal energy available to reach the activation energy necessary for breaking bonds between atoms.

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In chemistry, a combination reaction is a chemical reaction in which two or more reactants combine to form more than one product. In a decomposition reaction, one reactant splits into two or more products.

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