Question #35da6

1 Answer
Jun 25, 2015


The answer is subscript.


A chemical formula will give you information about what type of atoms and in what proportion make up a certain compound.

Take, for example, water, #H_color(red)(2)O#.

The fact that you need #color(red)(2)# atoms of hydrogen and 1 atom of oxygen to form 1 water molecule is expressed using subscripts.

With the exception of 1, which is not written explicitly, any interger that follows an atom as a subscript will tell you exactly how many atoms of a certain type are found in a molecule.

Take a look at the molecular formula of sulfuric cid, #H_2SO_4#.

The subscripts that follow each type of atom will tell you exactly how many hydrogen, sulfur, and oxygen atoms are needed to form *1 molecule( of sulfuric acid. In this case, you have

  • 2 atoms of hydrogen;
  • 1 atom of sulfur (remember that 1 is not written explicitly);
  • 4 atoms of oxygen.

One more example. Glucose has the molecular formula #C_6H_12O_6#. If you look at the subscripts listed, you can tell that 1 molecule of sucrose contains

  • 6 atoms of carbon;
  • 12 atoms of hydrogen;
  • 6 atoms of oxygen.