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Dr. Geoffrey Neuss - Independent, International, Innovative How big is a mole?

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© Dr. Geoffrey Neuss - Independent, International, Innovative For part of their CAS programme some of our students act as lifeguards on our local beach (Southerndown beach).

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© Dr. Geoffrey Neuss - Independent, International, Innovative Here is some sand taken from the beach

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© Dr. Geoffrey Neuss - Independent, International, Innovative This is a picture of the beach taken from the cliffs above. Can you ‘guesstimate’ from the information contained in this picture and the picture before how many grains of sand there are on Southerndown beach? No calculators allowed!

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© Dr. Geoffrey Neuss - Independent, International, Innovative = (1 x 10 3 ) x (1 x 10 2 ) x 1 m 3 = 1 x 10 5 m 3 1 cm 3 contains 1 x 10 3 grains of sand Hence 1 m 3 contains 1 x 10 9 grains of sand Number of grains of sand on Southerndown beach = 1 x m 3 = 1 x 10 6 cm 3 Nowhere near one mole of sand. So where can we find a bigger beach? Volume of sand on Southerndown beach

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© Dr. Geoffrey Neuss - Independent, International, Innovative The Sahara Desert

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© Dr. Geoffrey Neuss - Independent, International, Innovative km > ^ km v SAHARA DESERT

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© Dr. Geoffrey Neuss - Independent, International, Innovative = (4.0 x 10 6 ) x (1.5 x 10 6 ) x 10 m 3 = 6.0 x m 3 1 cm 3 contains 1 x 10 3 grains of sand Hence 1 m 3 contains 1 x 10 9 grains of sand Number of grains of sand in the Sahara desert = 6 x That is, about 1/10 mole of grains of sand Volume of Sahara desert

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© Dr. Geoffrey Neuss - Independent, International, Innovative 12 g of carbon 1 mole of carbon 6.02 x atoms of carbon

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