What is an empirical formula?

Oct 7, 2016

The empirical formula gives you the whole number ratio in which elements are present in a compound.

Explanation:

Example:

$C {H}_{2} O$ could be the empirical formula for:
$C {H}_{2} O$ formalin
${C}_{2} {H}_{4} {O}_{2}$
${C}_{3} {H}_{6} {O}_{3}$
.....
${C}_{6} {H}_{12} {O}_{6}$ glucose or fructose, or...

The empirical number says nothing about real formula or structure.