# A blue solid is 36.84% nitrogen and the rest is oxygen. What is the empirical formula of the solid?

Oct 4, 2016

Divide the percentages by the RAM and then divide by the smallest value, this will give a ratio of the elements in the compound.

#### Explanation:

% of nitrogen $= 36.84$
% of oxygen $= 63.16$

Divide the percentages by the relative atomic masses of their respective elements:

$\frac{36.84}{14} = 2.5$

$\frac{63.16}{16} = 3.9$

Divide both values by the lowest, and try to find whole-number ratios:

$\frac{2.5}{2.5} = 1$

$\frac{3.9}{2.5} = 1.5$

Since the ratio of oxygen to nitrogen is $1.5 : 1$, we have to double it so that it become $3 : 2$.

The empirical formula would be ${N}_{2} {O}_{3}$