16. Mole Day_v0.1

If Science, especially Chemistry, is a subject that fascinates you, MOLE will not be an unknown quantity. We, of course, don’t mean the small, rat like mammals. We mean the basic measuring unit in Chemistry. Doesn’t ring any bells? Well, let us explain. For a given molecule, mole is the mass (in grams) of substance having the same number of fundamental units as there are atoms in exactly 12 g of Carbon-12. Or, one mole is a mass whose number is equal to the atomic mass of the molecule. For example, a molecule of water has atomic mass 18. Hence, one mole of water will weigh 18 grams.

Here are some facts about the Mole and Mole Day –

1.The mole is the SI unit of the amount of a substance.
2.The Mole Day commemorates Avogadro’s Number, or 6.02X1023. This is the number of molecules of a substance contained in one mole.
3.The number is named after Amadeo Avogadro, who discovered the concept of mole, or the relationship between the molecular/atomic mass of a substance and its mass in grams. Amadeo Avogadro was an 18th century Italian scientist, who was credited with this discovery post his death. In fact, it took a whole century before the scientific community could come around to appreciating and understanding Avogadro’s work.
4.The quantity of molecules contained in a mole was called Avogadro’s Constant at the suggestion of a French Chemist and Nobel Laureate – Jean Baptiste Perrin.
5.Avogadro has a rather interesting full name – Lorenzo Romano Amedeo Carlo Avogadro. Quite impressive, eh?
6.Amedeo Avogadro is the same person who discovered and stated, ‘equal volume of all gasses, at the same temperature and pressure, have the same number of molecules.’
7.Because of the Avogadro’s Number, Mole Day is celebrated from 6.02 am to 6.02 pm.
8.In US, where the day took birth, the Mole Day is an unofficial holiday for Chemists, Chemistry students and professors.
9.The term ‘Mole’ was coined in 1894 by Wilhelm Ostwald. It was a short form of the German word for Molecule.
10.While being great from the point of view of academic interest in Chemistry, the mole is largely useless for application to industry or other avenues of practical life. The kilomole has, since then, been introduced as an alternative. However, as per information released in 2011, the mole is under investigation by the Governing Body on the Mole, which is looking for alternative, more viable SI units for amount of a substance.

The Purpose of Mole Day was to make students and even people in general, take greater interest in Chemistry. It was to motivate them to find newer facts, explore them, dive deep into them and develop a scientific temper. This Mole Day, we wish you explore more and have fun understanding the fascinating world of Chemistry.