Calculating Relative Formula Mass

Atoms are incredibly small particles with very little mass. Therefore, absolute units of mass like grams and kilograms aren’t particularly useful for measuring atoms, as their masses are very small.

Instead, when calculating the mass of atoms, it’s more practical to consider their weights in comparison to other atoms. This comparative approach is called relative atomic mass.

Relative Atomic Mass

A detailed periodic table of elements showing the organisation of all known elements. The table is categorised by colour-coded groups, including alkali metals, alkaline earth metals, transition metals, metalloids, non-metals, halogens, noble gases, lanthanoids and actinoids. Each element is represented by its atomic number, symbol, name and relative atomic mass. The table is also marked with vertical columns indicating groups 1 through 8 and horizontal rows indicating periods, from 1 to 7, and horizontal groups indicating groups, from 1 to 8.. The lanthanoids and actinoids are displayed separately at the bottom. Arrows and annotations explain the information provided for each element, such as atomic mass and chemical symbol, using Hydrogen as an example.

Example: Calcium Carbonate

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