What is the difference between empirical, molecular, and structural formulas?

1 Answer
Oct 7, 2016


#"The empirical formula is the......."#


The empirical formula is the simplest whole number ratio that defines constituent atoms in a species.

The molecular formula indicates the actual numbers of atoms in a given molecule. It is always a mulitple of the empirical formula (and of course the multiple may be #1#).

The structural formula is a graphic representation of the molecular formula, and attempts show how the molecule is arranged in three dimensions.

See here for some further discussion.