Question
Fri August 17, 2012 By: Pp Methuku
 

Ma'am can you please explain the law of multiple proportions more easily ?

Expert Reply
Fri August 17, 2012

Law of multiple statement is when two elements combine with each other to form more than one compound, the weights of one element that combine with a fixed weight of the other are in a ratio of small whole numbers. For example, there are five distinct oxides of nitrogen, and the weights of oxygen in combination with 14 grams of nitrogen are, in increasing order, 8, 16, 24, 32, and 40 grams, or in a ratio of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Hydrogen can react with oxygen in a couple of different ways.  One way occurs when you take two moles of hydrogen and react it with one mole of oxygen.  When you do this, you make H2O.  Another way occurs when you take one mole of hydrogen and react it with one mole of oxygen:  When you do this, you make H2O2.

In the first case, two moles of hydrogen weigh 4 grams and one mole of oxygen weighs 32 grams.  The ratio of 
oxygen to hydrogen is 8:1. In the second case, one mole of hydrogen weighs 2 grams and one mole of oxygen weighs 32 grams.  The ratio of oxygen to hydrogen is 16:1.  Since 16 is equal to 8 x 2, this satisfies the law of multiple proportions.

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