Formula deduced from the results of analysis which is merely the simplest expression of the ratio of the atoms in a substance. In molecular materials it may. or may not, show how many atoms of each element the molecule contains: eg methanal, CH20, ethanoic acid, C2H4O2. and lactic acid, C3HUO3, have the same percentage composition, and consequently, on analysis, they would all be found to have the same empirical formula.
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