Chemguide

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Edexcel International GCSE Chemistry
Edexcel Certificate in Chemistry


Links for Chapter 22: RAMs and Moles

Video clips and animations

The reduction of copper oxide using natural gas

Natural gas (mainly methane) will reduce hot copper oxide to copper. Carbon dioxide and water vapour are also produced. An experiment like this could be used to find the formula of the copper oxide (for a calculation involving red copper oxide, see page 183 of the book). The book talks about reducing the copper oxide using hydrogen, but this is potentially quite dangerous and difficult to do other than as a demonstration. This experiment using natural gas can be done safely as a class practical. The empty tube would be weighed, then the tube plus copper oxide. Once all the copper oxide has been reduced to pinky-brown copper, and the tube is cold, it is reweighed. Results from this experiment will slot exactly into the form you will find on page 183. From Mike Thompson's ChemPics on YouTube.


I haven't been able to much else that I am happy with. There are a few videos and some interactive material on the mole concept, but they are all potentially confusing. They tend to use old-fashioned terms like atomic weight and molecular weight instead of relative atomic mass and relative formula mass. Although it isn't that difficult to translate these terms if you know what you are doing, it just gets in the way of understanding. If you come across anything that you have found helpful, could you let me know via the address on the about this site page of Chemguide.


Instructions for practical work

I have referred to practicalchemistry.org as a reliable source of instructions for experiments. If you find anything really good from other sources, could you let me know via the address on the about this site page of Chemguide.

Chemical quantities menu

A limited number of experiments, not all of which are relevant to this chapter.

Finding the formula of hydrated copper(II) sulfate

This is probably the most useful of the reactions from the above menu. It doesn't, of course, find the whole formula - just the number of molecules of water of crystallisation. (The link at the bottom of that page leads to a page with some Quicktime video clips of a similar experiment. Not all of them worked on any of the browsers that I commonly use on my Apple Mac.)


Other interesting or useful sites

How a mass spectrometer works

Although this isn't on the syllabus, you might be interested to know how the masses of atoms are measured, and how the percentage abundances of their isotopes are determined. The link at the bottom of the page will take you to some more calculations of relative atomic mass. Bear in mind that these pages of Chemguide are aimed at A level.


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© Jim Clark 2009