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Molecular - Molecular Empirical and Structural Formulas...

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Molecular, Empirical, and Structural Formulas Empirical vs. Molecular formulas Molecular formulas refer to the actual number of the different atoms which comprise a single molecule of a compound. Empirical formulas refer to the smallest whole number ratios of atoms in a particular compound. Compound Molecular Formula Empirical Formula Water H 2 O H 2 O Hydrogen Peroxide H 2 O 2 HO Ethylene C 2 H 4 CH 2 Ethane C 2 H 6 CH 3 Molecular formulas provide more information, however, sometimes a substance is actually a collection of molecules with different sizes but the same empirical formula. For example, carbon is commonly found as a collection of three dimensional structures (carbon chemically bonded to carbon). In this form, it is most easily represented simply by the empirical formula "C" (the elemental name). Structural formulas Sometimes the molecular formulas are drawn out as structural formulas to give some idea of the actual chemical bonds which unite the atoms.
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