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Cambridge IGCSE chemistry

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Lesson 11, Topic 1
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Symbols and formulae

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Element symbols

  • Each element has its own symbol, for example C is carbon, Br is bromine and Na is sodium

Molecular formula

  • The molecular formula gives the number of atoms of each particular element in one molecule of a compound or element, e.g HCl , Br2 , H2O

Structural formula

  • The structural formula shows how the atoms are bonded in a molecule , e.g CH3CH2CH3

Displayed formula

  • The displayed formula shows how the atoms are bonded in a molecule as a diagram

Empirical formula

  • The empirical formula shows the simplest whole number ratio of atoms or ions in a compound. For example, the empirical formula of Al2Cl6 is AlCl2