Is H2O an empirical formula?

1 Answer
Oct 26, 2015

Answer:

Absolutely!

Explanation:

The empirical formula is the simplest whole number ratio that defines constituent atoms in a species (that was glib, I learned this definition as a youth!). Since #OH_2# is the simplest whole number ratio it is indeed the empirical formula.

To expand, the molecular formula is always a multiple of the empirical formula: i.e #M.F. = n(E.F.)#, where #n# is an integer. Here the multiple is #1#, because clearly the molecular formula of water is #H_2O#.

Can you tell me the empirical formulae of hydrogen peroxide, #H_2O_2#, #NO#, #N_2O_4#, and #H_2C=CH_2#?