Is the empirical formula for a compound ever the same as its molecular formula? Why or why not?

1 Answer
Oct 2, 2016


Yes, if the molecular formula cannot be simplified.


Take the molecular formula of methane for example, #CH_4#. It can't be simplified any further (unless you use fractions in the subscripts), and thus its empirical formula is also #CH_4#. Another example would be carbon dioxide, #CO_2#.