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Name:   Dottie P.
Status:  educator
Age:  40s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2000


Question:
What are the real world applications of the mole concept? Although I could receit the generic applications stated in the text, I could not identify and describe a specific example of how this concept is used. Please help!


Replies:
Dottie,

Consider this bit of whimsy: I have always wanted to own a pizza parlor called Avogadro's in which the spicy, well-seasoned pizza would be given away for free and the soda pop (mostly water would be sold for a dollar a mole. Thirsty patrons would require quite a few moles of pop to fill their glasses since a mole of water is only 18 grams (mL). I'd make a fortune!

Imagine a box large enough to hold a mole (6.02 x 10^23) peas. Assume a dried pea is about a quarter inch (6 mm) in diameter. The volume of a single pea is 4/3(Pi)(r^3) or about 113 mm^3. If you carry the calculation to its conclusion by multiplying the volume of a single pea by Avogadro's number (6.02 x 10^23) and then finishing up the unit conversions, you'll discover the box would be a little more than 200 miles long, wide and tall.

Finally, humans will never make a machine that can lift Avogadro's number of anything you can see even with the best medical microscope. Assume a microbe weighs a trillionth of a gram. Multiply that weight by Avogadro's number, do the unit conversions and you'll discover that the result is many, many thousands of tons -- not likely to be lifted or even contained by any machine that will ever be made.

Regards,
ProfHoff



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