Chemical Forums

Chemistry Forums for Students => High School Chemistry Forum => Chemistry Olympiad and other competitions => Topic started by: Zidane on August 23, 2018, 07:44:55 AM

Title: Chemical formula
Post by: Zidane on August 23, 2018, 07:44:55 AM
Chemical formula for Lactic acid is C3H6O3 ... can't we divide these number by a common number and write CH2O..?
Title: Re: Chemical formula
Post by: sjb on August 23, 2018, 08:15:55 AM
At a simple level, no - what is the formula for e.g. formaldehyde, or glucose? It may be that CH2O is a useful way of thinking of this though depending on context
Title: Re: Chemical formula
Post by: mjc123 on August 23, 2018, 08:20:48 AM
Look up "Empirical formula" and "Molecular formula".
Title: Re: Chemical formula
Post by: Mitch on August 24, 2018, 02:51:55 PM
Chemical formula for Lactic acid is C3H6O3 ... can't we divide these number by a common number and write CH2O..?

Just because you can doesn't mean it is chemically significant. You could write H2O as H0.2O0.1, but you would lose the chemical significance that each molecule of water has exactly two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen.