What is the difference between laws of definite proportion and laws of multiple proportion?

Asked by PANKAJ KUMAR PRASAD | 24th Jul, 2013, 09:18: PM

Expert Answer:

The Law of definite proportions states that no matter how you make a chemical compound, it's got the same ratio of elements.  For  example:  Whether you make water by combining hydrogen and oxygen or by decomposing hydrogen peroxide, the resulting water will still be 1 part by mass of hydrogen to eight parts by mass of oxygen. 

The law of multiple proportions refers to different chemical compounds that can be formed when two elements react with each other.  For example, hydrogen and oxygen can react to form water (H2O) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2).  In the first compound, one gram of hydrogen combines with 8 grams of oxygen.  In the second, one gram of hydrogen reacts with 16 grams of oxygen.  If we look at the ratio of these to each other, 8/16 =2, which is a whole number.

  The law of multiple proportions says that whenever oxygen and hydrogen (or any two elements react to form more than one compound), the ratios of the elements to each other will be some whole number multiple of the ratios of the elements in the other compounds.


Answered by  | 24th Jul, 2013, 10:57: PM

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