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AVOGADROS NUMBER

Look up into the sky on a clear night. You may be able to see about 3.000 stars with the naked eye, but the number of stars swirling around you in the known universe is approximately equal to Avogadros number 6.02 x 1023. Just think, the known universe contains approximately a mole of stars. You dont have to leave the Earth to encounter such a large number. The water in the Pacific Ocean has a volume about 6.02 x 1023 milliliters and a mass about 6.02 X 1023 grams. Avogadros number is almost incomprehensibly large. For example if one mole of dollars was given away at the rate of a million dollars per second beginning when the Earth was first formed some 4.5 billion years ago, would any remain today? Surprisingly, about three fourths of the original mole of dollars would be left today; it would take about fourteen billion, five hundred million more years to give away the remaining money at one million dollars per second. The impressively large size of Avogadros number can give us very important insights into the very small size of individual molecules. In a single drop of water there are about 1.7 x 1021 water molecules. There are more teaspoons of water in the Atlantic ocean than there are water molecules in a teaspoon of water. Purpose: During the activity comparisons will be made to facilitate your comprehension of both the magnitude of Avogadros number and the size of molecules, atoms and ions. Data will be collected and used as conversion factors to solve problems using dimensional analysis. Procedure: 1. Determine the number of seconds one member of your lab group can count a 100 rice grains using a stop watch. 2. Determine the length of 20 rice grains laid end to end in cm. 3. Determine the space filled volume of 100 rice grains using a 10 ml graduated cylinder. 4. Determine the mass of 100 rice grains.
Rhonda Alexander Robert E. Lee High School Tyler, TX

Conclusion: 1. How many years would it take you to count a mole of rice grains? 2. How many years would it take the population of the Earth to count Avogadros number of rice grains? 3. How many rice grains laid end to end would it take to reach the sun? 4. If the nearest star is 4.3 light years away from the earth, how many rice grains laid end to end would it take to reach the nearest galaxy? 5. Would a mole of rice grains laid end to end come closer to the sun or the nearest star? 6. How deep, in miles, would Texas be covered if a mole of rice grains were poured on Texas? 7. The annual production of rice is 32,000,000,000,000 Kg. How many years would it take to grow a mole of rice grains? 8. Assuming man has grown rice for 200,000 years, has there been a mole of rice grown? USEFUL FACTS AND FIGURES AND IRRELEVANT TID BITS One light year is 5,865,676,000,000 miles 2.54 cm is an inch 5280 feet are in a mile A football field is 98.97 meters long Texas has a surface area of 262,000 miles2 It is 93 million miles to the sun on a clear day at noon Earths population is about 6 billion

MOLE FACT If a mole of pennies were divided up and given to every person on the earth, each person would receive person would receive 1.5 X 1016 pennies. Personal spending at a rate of one million dollars a day would use up each persons wealth in just over four thousand years. Life would be comfortable; however, the surface of the earth would be covered in copper coins to a depth of 420 meters.

Rhonda Alexander

Robert E. Lee High School Tyler, TX

Teacher Notes Avogadros Number The objective of the activity is to present the magnitude of Avogadros number and molecules and atoms by providing comparisons. The students will determine the number of seconds they can count 100 rice grains and the mass, length, and space filled volume of a given number of rice grains. The measurements will be used to perform calculations involving 6.02 X 1023 rice grains. Students are stunned by the small volume occupied by 100 grains of rice. Imagine their amazement when they calculate that Avogadros number of rice grains will cover the state of Texas to a depth of 12 to 14 miles. Materials: rice 50 ml beakers metric ruler balance stop watch 10 ml graduated cylinder Helpful Hints: Students will have to use the information listed after the questions to solve some of the problems. Most problems can be solved using factor label. Question number two is a division problem and question five and eight do not require calculations. Students may need assistance with question number six. They need to find the volume of Avogadros number of rice grains in miles3 using factor label method. After the volume of a mole of rice grains in miles3 is determined they can find the depth of the rice by dividing the volume by the surface area of Texas. After the students answer the questions, pour a mole of a substance into the palm of your hand to illustrate the size of molecules and atoms compared to rice grains. Sample Data and Solutions: 100 grains = 95 seconds 100 grains = 1.600 g 100 grains = 2.5 mL (including the space between the grains) 20 grains = 12.5 cm (Answers will vary) 1. 6.02 x 1023 grains x 95s/100 grains x 1hr/3600s x 1day/24hr x 1yr/365.25 day = 1.8 x 1016yr 2. 1.8 x 1016/ 6 x 109 = 3 .0 x 106 yr

Rhonda Alexander

Robert E. Lee High School Tyler, TX

4 3. 9.3 x 107 miles x 5280ft/1mile x 12in/1ft x 2.54 cm/1in x 20 grain/12.5cm = 2.4 x 1013 grains 4. 4.3 Lyr x 5.865676 x 1015miles/ 1 Lyr x 5280ft/1mile x 12in/1ft x 2.54 cm/1in x 20 grain/12.5cm = 6.5 x 1021grains 5. past both but closer to nearest star 6. 6.02 x 1023grains x 2.5 cm3/ 100 grains x 1in3/16.39 cm3 x 1ft3/1728cm3 x 1mile3/1.47197 x 1011 = 3610063.6 miles3 3610063.6 miles3/ 262,000miles2 = 13.7 miles 7. 6.02 x 1023grains x 1.6 g/100 grains x 1kg/1000g 1yr/3.2 x 1013 kg = 301,000yr 8. no

Rhonda Alexander

Robert E. Lee High School Tyler, TX