MagOxide - Experiment 4 Revision 1.2 The Synthesis of...

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Experiment 4 Revision 1.2 The Synthesis of Magnesium Oxide Learn how the elemental composition of a chemical compound is determined. Learn about the Fundamental Laws of chemistry. Learn how to determine the empirical formula of a chemical compound from mass data. Learn about the oxides of the metallic elements. In this laboratory exercise, we will determine the elemental composition of the compound Magnesium Oxide. This information, used in conjunction with the Atomic Theory of matter, will allow us to determine the Empirical Formula for this compound. Comparison will then be made with the accepted chemical formulas of the Oxides of the other Alkaline Earth metals. In 1808, in his book A New System of Chemical Philosophy , John Dalton provided a detailed account of his Atomic Theory of matter, a theory he had alluded to 5 years earlier when reporting on studies of the solubility of gases in water. The idea that matter is made up of atoms was not new in Dalton's time. However, he provided the first workable theory of the formation of chemical compounds on the basis of the atomic structure of matter. Dalton theorized that all chemical elements are made up of small particles called Atoms. He assumed that all the atoms of any given element are exactly alike but different from the atoms of other elements. Further, chemical combination happens when one or more atoms of one element are joined to one or more atoms of another. Although his theory did not win immediate acceptance, this theory of the atomic nature of matter now provides the basis of all modern chemistry. To illustrate how the elemental composition of a compound can be determined, and thus also its empirical formula, consider the combination of elemental Titanium and elemental Oxygen. If powdered Titanium is heated with a Red Heat in an Oxygen rich atmosphere, the compound Unitrane, or Titanium Oxide, is produced: Titanium + Oxygen Unitrane If we start with, 1.576g of Titanium, once the combustion is complete, 2.629g of Unitrane will be formed. By the Law of Conservation of Mass: Mass Oxygen Consumed = 2.629g - 1.576g = 1.053g This gives an elemental composition of Unitrane of: % Titanium = ( 1.576g / 2.629g ) x 100 = 59.95 % % Oxygen = ( 1.053g / 2.629g ) x 100 = 40.05 %
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By the Law of Definite Proportions, every sample of Unitrane, no matter what the source, or method of production, will have this composition. Further, it should be noted only simple mass measurements are required for this compositional determination; measurements which can be made with high precision using even a simple pan balance. According to the Atomic Theory, a sample of a given element is composed of small discrete "atoms". In our example of the combustion of Titanium in Oxygen, the sample of elemental Titanium is composed of distinct Titanium atoms. Also, the Oxygen consumed during the combustion is composed of distinct Oxygen atoms. These Titanium and Oxygen atoms differ in their size, mass, and other properties. Further, the Atomic Theory requires that these atoms
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MagOxide - Experiment 4 Revision 1.2 The Synthesis of...

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