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# Name: ____________________________________ Period: _____

## Mr. Saucedo 1. Chem

Finding the Average Atomic Mass of a
Penny Activity

Learning Objective: Students will be able to apply the
concept of averages to determining the weight of a
penny.

Concept: Each penny represents an atom. Some of
the pennies are from different years so they weigh a
little more or less than each other just like natural
isotopes do. Each bag of pennies is going to
represent a sample of a pure element. It is your job to
find out how much the average penny weighs in your
sample.

Procedure:

1. Take any bag of pennies and count how many
pennies (atoms) are in the bag.

Number of atoms in your sample: _____________

2. Now place all of the pennies in your bag on the scale at one time. What is the weight
of the entire sample of your pure element?

Mass of entire sample: _____________ g

3. Using your superior Chemistry powers, what is the average mass of one atom of

Average atomic mass of one atom: _____________ g

4. Why is it expected that the average mass is a decimal number and not a round
number?

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5. Why are atomic masses often decimal numbers and not round numbers?

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Mr. Saucedo 2. Chem
6. Naturally occurring chlorine is 75.53% Chlorine-37 with a weight of 34.969 u and
24.47% Chlorine-37 with a weight of 36.966 u. Calculate the average atomic mass of

7. Copper used in electric wires comes in two isotopes: Cu-63 and Cu-65. Cu-65 has an
atomic mass of 62.9298 u and an abundance of 69.09%. The other isotope, Cu-65, has
an abundance of 30.91% and an atomic mass of 64.9278 u. Calculate the average
atomic mass of copper. SHOW YOUR WORK! BOX YOUR ANSWER!

8. Magnesium consists of three naturally occurring isotopes. The percent abundance of
these isotopes is as follows: Mg-24 (78.70%), Mg-25 (10.13%), and Mg-26 (11.7%). The
average atomic mass of the three isotopes is 24.3050 u. If the atomic mass of Mg-25 is
24.98584 u, and Mg-26 is 25.98259 u, calculate the actual atomic mass of Mg-24. Think