Question
Wed February 08, 2012 By:
 

what-is-the-formula-for-finding-the-relative-atomic-mass-of-a-substance?please-give-an-example-to-show-how-it-is-applied

Expert Reply
Wed February 08, 2012

Relative atomic mass = [(Relative abundance of naturally occurring isotope 1)/100 x mass of isotope 1] + [(Relative abundance of naturally occurring isotope 2)/100 x mass of isotope 2]

For example: Chlorine exists as two isotopes: chlorine-35 and chlorine-37. When we calculate the relative atomic mass of an element we take into account the relative abundances of each isotope present.

In a naturally occurring sample of chlorine, we find that 75 per cent is chlorine-35 atoms and the other 25 per cent is chlorine-37 atoms.
 So, Relative atomic mass of chlorine = [35 X 75/100] + [37 X 25/100]

                                                             = 26.25 + 9.25

                                                             = 35.5

 

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