Atomic Weight

Definition - What does Atomic Weight mean?

Atomic Weight is the ratio of average mass of the atoms of a chemical element to some standard. Its concept is fundamental as most of the chemical reactions occur according to the simple numeric relationships between the atoms. As it is not possible to directly count the atoms involved, chemists measure products and reactants by weighing them. They reach the conclusions with the help of calculations that involve Atomic Weights. This careful experimental work by the chemists has become the key to the technology and chemical science.

Petropedia explains Atomic Weight

The quest to find out the Atomic Weights of elements occupied some of the greatest chemists in the 19th and 20th centuries. The values of the Atomic Weights serve an essential purpose in a different method when the chemical commodities are bought and then sold depending on the concept of one or more than one specified constituents. The content of specified constituents can be determined by the quantitative analysis. The computed worth of materials depends on the Atomic Weight used in calculations. Atomic Weight can be evaluated for the atoms in their nuclear and electronic ground states.

In a specified sample:

The average mass per atom = total mass of the element divided by total number of the atoms that element contains.

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