Does the mass of an isotope directly relate to the molar mass of the atom?

1 Answer
May 7, 2016

Answer:

No, we need a multiplier, and the multiplier is Avogadro's number, #N_A#.

Explanation:

We often cite atomic mass as #12.00*g,# #""^12C#, #16.00*g#, #""^16O#, of course, here we refer to the mass of a mole, #"Avogadro's number"#, of such isotopes. Now, the actual mass of a single isotope, a single atom, is (of course) considerably less than these gram quantities. Nevertheless, chemists deal (typically) in gram quantities, and using #"Avogadro's number"# we can relate the macro world of grams and kilograms to the micro world of atoms and molecules.

If you are unsatisfied, I am certainly willing to expand.