Chemical Formulas

28-332954164In the subject of chemistry, every substance has been given a symbol with numbers stuck in front of elements to express the arrangement of atoms of the elements in the substance. Thus we have a shortened formula to write water as H2O and NaOH for sodium hydroxide.

We know that oxidation of aluminum makes aluminum oxide in such a manner that its chemical formula is Al2O3 where the substance contains two atoms of aluminum and 3 atoms of oxygen. This arrangement to express substances in the form of chemical formulas makes for easy understanding of concepts in the subject matter of chemistry. Chemical formulas happen to be a strong base of the subject matter of chemistry and every student has to learn these formulas to be able to understand the basic concepts of reactions, equations, acids, bases, and so on.

Explaining the basics of a chemical formula:

In the molecule of water, there are two hydrogen atoms and a single atom of oxygen. This means that its chemical


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formula has to be written as H2O. The use of numerals makes it easy to represent the fact that there are two atoms of hydrogen inside a molecule of water or else we might have had to write HHO that would have been inconvenient. The use of a subscript in the form of a numeral tells us how many atoms of the element have combined together to form the molecule of the substance. No subscript is required if a single atom of the element is present in the substance.

Take for example the molecule of the gas carbon dioxide. We know that two atoms of oxygen combine with a single atom of carbon to make up a molecule of the gas carbon dioxide. Thus the chemical formula to write or represent the gas carbon dioxide would be CO2. On the other hand, three atoms of hydrogen join with a single atom of nitrogen to make up the molecule of the gas ammonia. This means we have to use the subscript of 3 after H to write the chemical formula of ammonia as NH3.

Learning how to write a chemical formula:

To summarize the concept of the chemical formula, a chemical formula enables us to write the elements present in a substance along with their numbers to visualize the arrangement of atoms in the molecule of the substance. Chemical formulas are extremely helpful as we can write chemical equations and know the exact amounts of substances that undergo reactions to produce new substances. To write the chemical formula of a compound or a substance, all we need to know is the elements that make up the substance, the charge of these elements in the substance, and a way to balance out these charges.

Once a student has learnt to successfully write the chemical formula of a compound, whether an acid or a base, it is possible for him to grasp the other concepts. In fact, whether organic or inorganic, chemistry is built around chemical formulas and a good understanding of the subject requires learning these chemical formulas.

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