Q:

How is percent abundance calculated?

A:

Quick Answer

Percent abundance can be calculated by finding the percentage of an isotope compared to another isotope of an element using its relative atomic mass. This is an algebraic process and depends upon several measurements.

Continue Reading
How is percent abundance calculated?
Credit: Universal Images Group Editorial Universal Images Group Getty Images

Full Answer

Because there are various isotopes of an element, its atomic weight is a calculation of the atomic masses and relative abundances of each isotope of that element. Using algebra, the atomic weights and respective relative abundance percentages of each isotope are multiplied and then added together to find the atomic weight of the element in question.

To accurately measure the atomic mass of an element, a mass spectrometer is used. In this instrument, atoms are positively ionized, accelerated and then deflected by a magnetic field. The amount of deflection is partially determined by the element's atomic mass.

Learn more about Math Calculators

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How can I calculate the mass of everyday objects?

    A:

    According to Newton's Second Law of Motion, force is equal to the product of mass and gravitational acceleration. The formula is F=mg. Because weight is also a force, you can calculate the mass of everyday objects by using the same formula.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a pure element in chemistry?

    A:

    A pure element is a substance consisting of only one isotope of a single element. Isotopes are atoms that differ from the atomic weight usually associated with a particular element due to having a different number of neutrons in their nuclei.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is an isotope?

    A:

    An isotope is an atom that contains a different number of neutrons than its base chemical element. Each element is defined by its respective number of protons. The atomic number of an element refers to its proton count and establishes that particular element within the periodic table.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is plutonium-239?

    A:

    Plutonium-239 is an isotope of plutonium that is a radioactive, metallic element created when uranium atoms absorb neutrons. Plutonium-239 is the most common isotope used in the production of nuclear weapons and is also one of three primary isotopes used as fuel in nuclear reactors.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore