Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Blog Post 2: NaCl Cubes

This picture shows a unit cell model of NaCl.  This model has a height width length of 56mm.
56mm is also 56,000,000 nanometers also 560,000,000 angstroms and also 0.056 meters.

The average mass of one grain(cube) of salt is roughly 5.85 x 10^-15 (various per grain) (according to: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/If_a_typical_grain_of_salt_has_a_mass_of_0.3_mg_how_many_unit_cells_does_it_contain)
Given the weight in grams of 5.85x10^-15 we estimate that one grain of NaCl has 1.66x10^-8 moles of NaCl.

We determined that the dimensions of one unit cube of salt to be about 5.86x10^-5 meters which i feel may be a little large.  I will be double checking these numbers at a later time.

Blog Post 1: Describe 10 Nanometers and a mole of atoms

Nano Meters:
A nano meter is 1 x 10^-9 or 1 billionth of a meter.  10 nano meters is so small it is roughly half the diameter of a ribosome.  Nano meters are also used to describe the size of particles on the atom level.  10 Nano meters is also the thickness of some small prokaryotic cells!  Now that's small!.  Follow the links to get a better idea of just how small that is.

A Mole of Atoms:
1 mole is a set number representing 6.022 x 10^23.  What an odd number to use for counting isn't it?  Why not just use 6 x 10^23?  Well 1 mole was a number that represents much more then just a random arbitrary number marking to make counting easier, its actually based on how many atoms are present in 12 grams of carbon-12 which has an atomic weight of 12.   This way we can easily weight a sample of a pure element in grams and by comparison analysis we can figure out roughly how many atoms of an element we have!
Follow the links to the side for more information on what a mole is.