Sun April 24, 2011 By: Akanksha Gupta

PLEASE EXPLAIN the law of reciprocal proportions by richter

Expert Reply
Mon April 25, 2011
 Richter gave this law in 1792. IAccording to the law the two weights of two or more different elements which separately combine with a definite weight of another element will be
the same as, or simple multiples of the proportions of the weights of these different elements when they combine amongst themselves. Carbon and Hydrogen combine with oxygen separately to form two oxides- CO2 and H2O. In CO2, 12 gms of Carbon combines with 32gms of Oxygen. In water, two gms of Hydrogen combines with 16gms of Oxygen. So here 12 gms of
carbon and 4 gms of hydrogen combine with a definite weight 32 gms of oxygen. When carbon and hydrogen will combine with each other they must have a ratio of 12:4 or a simple multiple of this ratio and actually in methane CH4 they have the same ratio which is according to this Law of
Reciprocal Proportions.
So, when one element combine with the fix mass of another element to produce more than one compound the ratio of first element will be small ratio in whole number or simple multiple ratio .

For example if 1gm of H combine seperatly with 3gm of C & 8gm of O than the ratio will be

Hyrogen 1:1

Oxygen 8:8

Carbon 3:3

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