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Some Basic Concepts of Chemistry 1

01. Some Basic Concepts of Chemistry

1.0 : Prominent Scientists :

Scientists Contributions
Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac (1778 – 1850) i. Formulated the gas law.
(French chemist and physicist) ii. Collected samples of air at different heights and
recorded temperatures and moisture contents.
iii. Discovered that the composition of atmosphere
does not change with increasing altitude.
Amedeo Avogadro (1776 – 1856) i. Published article in French journal on determining
(Italian scholar) the relative masses of elementary particles of
bodies and proportions by which they enter
ii. Published a research paper titled ''New
considerations on the theory of proportions and
on determination of the masses of atoms."

Note: In order to give a tribute to Avogadro's contributions related to molecular theory, the number of elementary
entities (atoms, molecules, ions or other particles) in 1 mole of a substance, 6.022 x 1023 is known as
Avogadro number.
1.1 : Introduction :
Q.1. Chemistry has played an important role in the fulfillment of basic needs of man. Explain.
Ans: Increasing population has led to an increase in the demands of basic needs of man (food, clothing and
shelter). Developments in the field of chemistry have helped to cope up with these necessities as follows:
i. Food:
a. The population of a country requires nutritious and hygienic food in sufficient quantity. To achieve
the same, there is a need to manufacture good quality fertilizers and insecticides.
b. The advancement of chemistry has helped many countries to become not only self sufficient but
also an exporter of food commodities.
ii. Clothing:
a. Good quality clothes are required for every individual to adjust with changing environmental conditions.
b. Because of the production of synthetic fibres like nylon, rayon, etc. in factories, this need has
been fulfilled.
iii. Shelter:
a. The human population needs comfortable and well-built houses. Iron, cement and steel are
required in large quantities for construction of such houses.
b. Chemistry has played an important role in the extraction of these metals from their respective
Q.2. Define chemistry.
Ans: Chemistry is defined as the study of the composition, structure and properties of matter and the reactions
by which one form of matter may be converted into another form.
Q.3. Give reason: Chemistry is called as a central science.
Ans: i. Chemistry is an active evolving science and is of vital importance to the entire world. Although the
Some Basic Concepts of Chemistry 2
subject has very ancient roots, it is a modern science.
ii. The basic knowledge of chemistry is essential for development of subjects like physics, biology, geology,
engineering, environmental science and many others.
Therefore, it is called as a central science.
Q.4. What are the various branches of chemistry?
Ans: The several branches of chemistry are as follows:
i. Physical chemistry:
It is the branch of chemistry that deals with the structure of matter, the energy changes and the
theories, laws and principles that explain the transformation of matter from one form to another.
ii. Inorganic chemistry:
It is the branch of chemistry that deals with chemistry of elements other than carbon and their
iii. Organic chemistry:
This branch of chemistry deals with reactions of the compounds of carbon.
iv. Analytical chemistry:
This is the branch of chemistry which deals with the separation, identification and quantitative
determination of the compositions of different substances.
v. Biochemistry:
This is the branch of chemistry that deals with substances which are constituents of living organisms.
Pharmaceutical, environmental and nuclear chemistry are also branches of chemistry.
1.2 : Importance and scope of chemistry :
Q.5. Explain the importance and scope of chemistry.
Ans: Chemistry has a wide scope and importance in various fields.
i. Processes based on chemical technology help to extract, purify, synthesize and analyse materials like
iron, steel, aluminium, zinc, alloys like brass, amalgams as well as precious metals like silver, gold,
ii. All drugs are synthesized in chemical / pharmaceutical laboratories.
No. Drugs Treatment of diseases
i. L-dopa For treatment of Parkinson's disease.
ii. Human insulin For treatment of diabetes.
iii. Cisplatin and taxol Life saving drugs to give relief to cancer patients.
iv. Azidothymidine (AZT) For treatment of AIDS.
v. Tamiflue For treatment of swine flu.
iii. Photosynthesis is the process through which trees and plants prepare their food using chlorophyll
(green pigment) in presence of sunlight. The process is a simple chemical reaction and takes place
CO2 + H2O chlorophyll food grains/fruits/flowers/cotton/medicine etc.

iv. Fossil fuels like coal, petroleum, natural gas, etc. are combustible chemicals which are used to produce
energy which is used to drive trains, trucks, buses and all automobiles. The energy is also used to
generate electricity. Several electrochemical cells like Daniel 'cell, lead storage cell, dry cell, nickel
cadmium cell, lithium ion cell, fuel cell, etc., are used as a source of energy. These cells are less'
polluting and more efficient. There are attempts being made to convert solar energy into electrical
energy using photovoltaic cells, the solar cells. Attempt is also made to obtain hydrogen from water,
which is used in fuel cells to generate electricity.
Some Basic Concepts of Chemistry 3
v. With the help of chemistry it is easy to design and generate large number of materials like polymers,
plastic, liquid crystals, adhesives and surface coating materials like latex paints. Knowledge of chemistry
can also be used to synthesize new materials that can act as super conductors at or near room
temperature due to which loss of electricity will get reduced by almost 20%. Microprocessors used in
computers are silicon chips formulated and developed by chemists.
Q.6. Give five applications of subject chemistry which are not mentioned in the book.
Ans: i. Warfare:
With the knowledge of chemistry, various destructive gases and bombs have been invented which are
used during wars.
ii. Cosmetics:
Chemistry has helped to produce good quality cosmetics.
iii. Health:
Chemistry plays an important role in maintaining one's good health by providing knowledge about
proper intake of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, vitamins, etc.
iv. Education:
Chemistry provides inter-relationship to study the para-chemistry subjects such as Bio-chemistry,
Pharmacy, Herbal Science, Toxicology, Archaeology, Environmental Science, etc.
v. In recent years, chemistry has given us new materials such as super-conducting ceramics, conducting
polymers, optical fibres, micro alloys, carbon fibres, etc. which are used for various purposes.
1.3 : Historical approach to particulate nature are matter :
Q.7. Define matter.
Ans: Matter is anything which has mass and occupies space.
Q.8. Explain the classification of matter on the basis of its chemical composition.
Ans: Matter on the basis of chemical composition can be classified as follows:
i. Pure substances:
Substances which always have afzxed composition are called pure substances.
They are of two types:
a. Elements:
Elements are the pure substances which are made up of only one component.
eg. Gold, silver, copper, mercury, bromine, oxygen etc.
b. Compounds:
Compounds are the pure substances which are made up of two or more components.
eg. Water, ammonia, methane etc.
ii. Mixtures:
A mixture is a simple combination of two or more substances in which the constituent substances
retain their separate identities.
The composition of mixture can be varied to any extent. Therefore, mixtures do not have fixed
eg. Mixture of ethyl alcohol and water, salt in water, mixture of gases, etc.
Mixtures are of two types:
a. Homogeneous mixture:
A mixture in which the concentration of the constituents remains uniform throughout the mixture
and all the constituents are present in one phase, is called a homogeneous mixture.
eg. Mixture of salt and water.
b. Heterogeneous mixture:
If two or more phases are present in a mixture, it is called a heterogeneous mixture.
eg. Phenol - water system, silver chloride-water system, iron fillings-sand system, etc.
Q.9. What is Phlogiston theory?
Some Basic Concepts of Chemistry 4
Ans: Phlogiston theory:
i. According to this theory, a combustible substance contains phlogiston (a mysterious matter) and some
clax. During combustion, phlogiston evolves and is lost in the atmosphere. Clax remains in the form of
an ash.
ii. Combustion reactions were explained by phlogiston theory.
eg. During the combustion of a candle in a closed container, the air inside the container is saturated
with phlogiston. Since air cannot accommodate more phlogiston, the candle gets extinguished.
Q.10. What is "dephlogisticated air"? Who named it?
Ans: i. Joseph Priestley (a British scientist) focussed sunrays on a substance (mercuric oxide) to heat it.
ii. A gas evolved, in which substances could bum more vigorously than in air.
iii. A burning candle became brighter in this gas.
iv. Priestley was of the view that this gas is the normal air without phlogiston. Hence he named it
"dephlogisticated air".
Q.11. What was the contribution of Sir Henry Cavendish in the phlogiston theory?
Ans: i. Sir Henry Cavendish carried out the reaction of a dilute acid with metals such as zinc, iron, etc. He
named the gas evolved as "flammable air". It was found that this gas burnt in air and in dephlogisticated
air and produced water.
ii. Cavendish suggested that flammable air is water associated with phlogiston. This is in continuation
with the idea of phlogiston.
Q.12. Who ruled out the theory of phlogiston? Why?
Ans: i. The theory of phlogiston was ruled out by Antoine Lavoisier (a French Scientist).
ii. He proved that a part of air is used in chemical reaction during combustion. This part of air was called
oxygen. It means 'acid forming'.
iii. He also proved that oxygen was the gas formed in Joseph Priestley's experiment.
iv. He also proved that the flammable air produced by Cavendish was a new gas, which he named as
hydrogen, meaning 'water forming'.
Q.13. Define and explain the following with the help of examples.
i. Elements ii. Compounds
Ans: i. Elements:
a. An element is defined asa substance which cannot be separated into simpler substances by any
chemical process.
eg. Gold, silver, copper, carbon, etc.
b. Out of 118 elements that have been identified till recently, most are naturally occuring and a few
are prepared in the laboratory (man-made).
c. Chemists use one or two letter symbols to represent elements.
d. All the chemical symbols have first letter capital and second letter small (if present).
e. The symbols of the elements are derived either from English names or from Latin names of the
eg. Aluminium - Al , Einsteinium - Es, Gold - Au (Aurum)
f. Elements contain only one type of atom. Elements are further classified as metals, non-metals,
ii. Compounds:
a. Compounds are defined as substances of definite compositions which can be decomposed into
two or more substances by a simple chemical process.
eg. Water, sodium chloride, sugar, alcohol, etc.
b. The properties of compounds differ from the properties of the substances and elements obtained
from decomposition of the compounds.
eg. Hydrogen and oxygen are obtained from decomposition of water. Water can be used to
extinguish fire whereas oxygen supports combustion and hydrogen is combustible.
Some Basic Concepts of Chemistry 5
c. Compounds are classified into two subclasses organic compounds and inorganic compounds.
d. Compounds contain two or more components.
Names and symbols of some elements
Element Sym- Element Sym- Element Sym- Element Sym- Element Sym-
bol bol bol bol bol
Aluminium Al Cadmium Cd Mercury Hg Neobium Nb Rhodium Rh
Argon Ar Caesium Cs Holmium Ho Neodymium Nd Rhenium Re
Silver Ag Cerium Ce Iodine I Neptunium Np Sulphur S
Gold Au Curium Cm Irridium Ir Oxygen O Scandium Sc
Actinium Ac Calefomium Cf Krypton Kr Osmium Os Selenium Se
Americium Am Erbium Er Lithium Li Potassium K Strontium Sr
Beryllium Be Einsteinium Es Lanthanum La Phosphorous P Sodium Na
Boron B Fluorine F Lutetium Lu Lead Pb Technicium Tc
Barium Ba Francium Fr Lawrencium Lr Palladium Pd Uranium U
Bismuth Bi Iron Fe Magnesium Mg Platinum Pt Tungsten W
Carbon C Galium Ga Manganese Mn Promethium Pm Vanadium V
Chlorine Cl Germanium Ge Molybdenum Mo Protoactinium Pa Xenon Xe
Calcium Ca Gadolinium Gd Mendelivium Md Plutonium Pu Ytterbium Yb
Chromium Cr Hydrogen H Nitrogen N Radium Ra Zirconium Zr
Cobalt Co Helium He Neon Ne Rubidium Rb
Copper Cu Hafnium Hf Nickel Ni Ruthenium Rn

Q.14. Classify the following substances into elements, compounds, homogeneous mixtures and
heterogeneous mixtures.
Sand in water, Sodium chloride, Nitrogen, Sodium chloride in water, Pumice stone, Air,
Phenolwater system, Carbon dioxide, Gold
Ans: i. Sand in water : Heterogeneous mixture
ii. Sodium chloride : Compound
iii. Nitrogen : Element
iv. Sodium chloride in water : Homogeneous mixture
v. Pumice stone : Heterogeneous mixture
vi. Air : Homogeneous mixture
vii. Phenol-water system : Heterogeneous mixture
viii. Carbon dioxide : Compound
ix. Gold : Element
Q.15. Distinguish between
i. Mixtures and compounds. ii. Compounds and elements.
Ans: i. Mixtures and compounds:

No. Mixtures Compounds

i. The constituents of a mixture may be present The constituents of a compound are always present
in any ratio. in a fixed ratio.
ii. Mixtures may or may not be homogeneous Compounds are always homogeneous in nature.
in nature.
iii. 'The properties of a mixture are in between The properties of a compound are entirely different
those of its constituents. from those of its constituent elements.
iv. The constituents of a mixture can be easily The constituents of a compound cannot be easily
separated by simple physical means. separated by simple physical means but can be
separated by chemical processes.
v. The melting and boiling points of Chemical compounds possess sharp melting and
mixtures are usually not sharp. boiling points.
Some Basic Concepts of Chemistry 6
ii. Compounds and elements:
No. Compounds Elements
i. A compound is a substance composed of An element is a pure chemical substance made of
two or more different chemical elements. same type of atoms.
ii. A compound can be separated into simpler Elements cannot be broken down into simpler
substances by chemical reactions. substances.
iii. Compounds contain different elements in a Elements are distinguished by their atomic' number
fixed ratio arranged in a defined manner (number of protons in their nucleus).
through chemical bonds.
iv. A compound is represented using a formula. An element is represented using symbols.
v. The list of compounds is endless but can There are about 118 elements that have been
broadly be classified as ionic and covalent. identified and can be classified as metals, nonmetals
or metalloids.
eg. Sodium chloride (NaCl) , Sodium eg. Iron, copper, silver, gold, etc.
bicarbonate (NaHCO3), etc.
Q.16. Define a unit.
Ans: The arbitrarily decided and universally accepted standards used in the measurement of physical quantities
are called units. eg. meter (m), kilogram (kg).
Q.17. State the need of units.
Ans: i. In chemistry, several experiments are carried out which involve observation and collection of both
qualitative and quantitative data. .
ii. Measurement of physical properties such as mass, length, volume, temperature, pressure, time, etc.,
comprise of the quantitative data.
iii. For this purpose, the magnitude or size of physical quantity is compared with a suitable standard.
These units are arbitrarily chosen on the basis of universally accepted standards.
iv. To express any measured property, a number and an appropriate unit has to be used. Only number
does not give any idea about the property.
Q.18. What are the various systems in which units are expressed?
Ans: Units are expressed in various systems like CGS (centimetre for length, gram for mass and second for
time), FPS (foot, pound, second) and MKS (metre, kilogram, second) systems, etc.
i. During calculations, confinement to one single system of unit is advisable.
ii. NASA's Mars climate orbiter (first weather satellite for mars) was destroyed due to heat. The mission failed
as' there was a confusion while estimating the distance between earth and mars in miles and kilometers.
Q.19. What are st units? Name the fundamental SI units.
Ans: SI Units:
In 1960, the general conference of weights and measures proposed revised metric system, called International
system of Units i.e. SI system abbreviated from its F nch name Systeme Internationale d' Units.
The seven fundamental SI units are as given below:
No. Fundamental quantity SI unit Symbol
i. Length Metre m
ii. Mass Kilogram kg
iii. Time Second s
iv. Temperature Kelvin K
v. Amount of substance Mole mol
vi. Electric current Ampere A
vii. Luminous intensity Candela cd
Some Basic Concepts of Chemistry 7
Q.20. What are derived units?
Ans: The units of all physical quantities can be derived from the seven fundamental S1 units. These units are
known as derived units.
eg. i. Area = Length squared (m2)
ii. Concentration = mole per cubic metre (mol m–3)
Note: The table given below shows some common derived units.

No. Physical Quantity Relationship with fundamental unit Unit

i. Area Length squared m2
ii. Volume Length cubed m3
iii. Density Mass per unit volume kg m–3
iv. Velocity Distance travelled in unit time ms –1
v. Acceleration Velocity change per unit time ms –2
vi. Force Mass × Acceleration kg m s–2(newton, N)
vii. Pressure Force per unit area kg m–1 s–2
viii. Electric charge Current × Time As (coulomb, C)
ix. Electric potential or Potential Energy per unit charge kg m2 s–2A–1
difference (J A-1 s–1 or
Volt,V or JC–1)
x. Energy Force × distance travelled kg m2 s–2
(work or heat) (Joule s–1)
xi. Concentration Mole per cubic metre mol m–3
xii. Heat capacity Cp = dH / dT JK–1 mol–1
Cv = dE / dT
xiii. Electrochemical equivalent Z = E/F kg C–1 (kg/Coulomb)

Some common SI prefixes used for expressing big and small numbers:

Prefix Symbol Magnitude Meaning (multiply by)

Tera- T 1012 1 000 000 000 000
Giga- G 109 1000000000
Mega- M 106 1000000
myria- my 104 1 0000 (this is now obsolete)
kilo- k 103 1 000
hecto- h 102 100
deka- da 10 10
– – – –
deci- d 10–1 0.1
centi- c 10–2 0.01
milli- m 10–3 0.001
micro- µ 10–6 0.000001
nano- n 10–9 0.000000001
picc- p 10 –12 0.000000000001
femto- f 10 –15 0.000000000000001
Some Basic Concepts of Chemistry 8

1.4 : Laws of chemical combination :

Q.21. What is a chemical combination?
Ans: The process in which the elements combine with each other chemically, to form compounds, is called as
chemical combination.
Q.22. State and explain the laws of chemical combination.
Ans: Laws of chemical combination:
One of the most important aspects of the subject of chemistry is the study of chemical reactions. These
chemical reactions take place according to certain laws called as "Laws of chemical combination". They
i. Law of conservation of mass:
a. The law of conservation of mass states that, "mass is neither created nor destroyed during
chemical combination of matter ".
b. It was first stated by Russian scientist Lomonosove (1765) and later independently stated by
French chemist Antoine Lavoisier (1783) who performed careful experimental studies for various
combustion reactions.
c. Lavoisier observed that the total masses of the reactants (before the reaction) were in agreement
with the total masses of the products (after the reaction).
eg. Consider the reaction for the burning of carbon to form carbon dioxide.
Carbon + Oxygen   Carbon dioxide
The sum of the masses of carbon and oxygen (reactants) is always equal to the mass of the
carbon dioxide (product). This is in accordance with the law of conservation of mass.
ii. Law of defmite composition / proportions:
a. The law of definite composition! proportions was stated by French chemist Joseph Proust.
b. The law states that "any pure compound always contains the same elements in a definite proportion
by weight irrespective of its source or method of preparation ".
c. Proust worked with two samples of cupric carbonate; one of which was naturally occuring
cupric carbonate and other was prepared in the laboratory. He found that the composition of
elements present in both the samples of cupric carbonate was same as shown below:

Cu C O
Naturally occurring cupric carbonate 51.35 39.91 9.74
Cupric carbonate prepared in the laboratory 51.35 38391 9.74

d. The law was further supported by different samples of pure water which contained same amount
of oxygen (88.81 % by weight) and hydrogen (11.19% by weight) and different samples of pure
sugar which contained same amount of carbon (42.1% by weight), hydrogen (6.5% by weight)
and oxygen (51.4% by weight). This was irrespective of the source.
iii. Law of multiple proportions:
a. John Dalton (British scientist) proposed the law of multiple proportions in 1803.
b. The law states that, "if two elements chemically combine with each other forming two or more
compounds with different compositions by mass, then the ratios of masses of the two interacting
elements in the two compounds are small whole numbers ".
Chemical reaction of carbon with oxygen gives two compounds carbon monoxide and carbon
dioxide. Carbon monoxide is a poisonous, combustible gas. However carbon dioxide is a non-
poisonous, non-combustible gas.
I g of carbon reacts with 1.33 g of oxygen to form carbon monoxide. Ig of carbon reacts with
2.66 g of oxygen to form carbon dioxide. The ratio of weights of oxygen to that of carbon for
Some Basic Concepts of Chemistry 9
carbon dioxide is
2.66 g of oxygen
1.00 g of carbon = 2.66
And the ratio of weights of oxygen to that of carbon for carbon monoxide is
1.33g of oxygen
1.00 g carbon = 1.33

The two ratios are in the proportion = 2 i..e., 2 : 1
Therefore, the ratio of the masses of oxygen that combine with the same mass of carbon is 2: 1
i.e., a simple ratio.
iv. Gay Lussac's law of combining volumes of gases:
a. Joseph Louis Gay Lussac (a French chemist) observed that there exists a definite relationship
between volumes of gaseous reactants and the volumes of gaseous products. He generalized his
observations in the form of a law of combining volumes of gases.
b. Gay Lussac's law states that, when gases react together to produce gaseous products, the
volumes of reactants and products bear a simple whole number ratio with each other, provided
volumes are measured at same temperature and pressure.
c. eg. Under identical conditions of temperature and pressure, lL of hydrogen gas reacts with 1 L of
chlorine gas to produce 2 L of hydrogen chloride gas i.e.
Hydrogen + Chlorine   Hydrogen chloride
[1 L] [1 L] [2 L]
[ 1 vol] [ 1 vol] [ 2 vol]
Thus, the ratio of volumes is 1 : 1 : 2
d. Volumes may be measured in any convenient unit such as L, mL, cm3, dm3, etc.
eg. Consider the reaction for the conversion of sulphur dioxide to sulphur trioxide.
Sulphur dioxide + Oxygen   Sulphur trioxide
[ 200 mL ] [ 100 mL] [ 200 mL ]
[ 1 vol] [ 1 2 vol] [ 1 vol]
The ratio of volumes is 2 : 1 : 2.
The first three laws deal with the mass relationships whereas the fourth law deals with the volume of the
reacting gases.
Q.23. Who opposed the law of definite proportion? How were the objections ruled out?
Ans: i. Berthollet (French scientist) opposed Proust's law of definite proportion.
ii. He gave examples of the substances that contained different proportions of elements.
iii. However, the experimental work of analysis explained by Berthollet was based on impure samples or
incomplete reactions.
Hence, Berthollet's objections were ruled out.
Q.24. Is the law of constant composition true for all types of compounds? Justify your answer.
Ans: No, law of constant composition is not true for all types of compounds. It is true for only those compounds
which are obtained from one isotope.
eg. Carbon exists in two common isotopes: 12C and 14C. When it forms 12CO2, the ratio of masses is 12 :
32 or 3 : 8. However, when it is formed from 14C i.e., 14CO2, the ratio will be 14 : 32 i.e., 7 : 16, which
is not same as in the first case.
Q.25. Verify the law of multiple proportions for the chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen.
Some Basic Concepts of Chemistry 10
Ans: The chemical reactio;n of hydrogen with oxygen gives two compounds, water and hydrogen peroxide.
Water contains 88.89% by weight of oxygen and 11.11% by weight of hydrogen. The ratio of the percentages
by weight of oxygen to that of hydrogen is equal to
88.89% by weight of oxygen
11.11%by of hydrogen = 8 = 8 : 1
And hydrogen peroxide contains 94.12% by weight of oxygen and 5.88% by weight of hydrogen. The ratio
of the percentages by weights is equal to
94.12%byweight of oxygen
5.88% by weight of hydrogen = 16 = 16 : 1

The ratios of the two compoun dss aarree iIn the proportion =2:1
Therefore, the ratio of weights of oxygen that combine with the same weight of hydrogen in the two
compounds is equal to 2 : 1.
This is in accordance with the law of multiple proportions.
Q.26. Give two examples which support the Gay Lussac's law of combining volumes of gases.
Ans: i. Under identical conditions of temperature and pressure, 2 L of hydrogen gas reacts with lL of oxygen
gas to produce 2 L of steam (water vapour). i.e.,
Hydrogen + Oxygen   Steam (water vapour)
2L 1L 2L
(2 vol) (1 vol) (2 vol)
The ratio of volumes, is 2 : 1 : 2.
ii. Under identical conditions of temperature and pressure, 1 L of nitrogen gas reacts with 3 L of hydrogen
gas to produce 2 L of ammonia gas, i.e.
Nitrogen + Hydrogen   Ammonia
1L 3L 2L
(1 vol) (3 vol) (2 vol)
Here the ratio of volumes is 1 : 3 : 2
From these two examples, it can be concluded that there exists a simple ratio of whole numbers of
volumes of the gaseous reactants with gaseous products.
Hence, these examples support the Gay Lussac's law.
i. Gay Lussac's law of combining volumes is applicable only to reactions involving gases and not to
solids and liquids.
ii. The volumes of gases in the chemical reaction are not additive. For example, in case of reaction
between hydrogen and chlorine gases it appears to be additive. However in case of reaction between
hydrogen and oxygen, 2 volumes of hydrogen and 1 volume of oxygen, equal to 3 volumes of reactants
get converted into 2 volumes of the product, steam.
iii. Similarly, in case of formation of ammonia, 1 volume of nitrogen and three volumes of hydrogen, equal
to 4 volumes of reactants, react to get converted into 2 volumes of the product, ammonia.
1.5 : Dalton's atomic theory :
Q.27. State and explain Dalton's atomic theory.
Ans: To provide theoretical justification to the laws of chemical combination, John Dalton postulated a simple
atomic theory of matter (1808).
According to him, "Atom is the smallest indivisible particle of a substance". The basic assumptions of the
theory are ,given below:
i. All matters are made up of tiny, indestructible, indivisible unit particles called atoms. Atoms are the
Some Basic Concepts of Chemistry 11
smallest particles of the element and molecules are the smallest particles of a compound.
ii. All atoms of the same element have same size, shape and mass and all other properties. Atoms of
different elements have different properties.
iii. Compounds are formed when atoms of different elements combine. The atoms in a compound unite
in small whole number ratios like 1 : 1, 1 : 2, 1 : 3, 2 : 1, 2 : 3, etc.
iv. A chemical reaction involves only the separation, combination or rearrangement of integer number of
atoms. During a chemical reaction, atoms are neither created nor destroyed.
Q.28. How was the law of conservation of mass explained by Dalton on the basis of his atomic theory?
Ans: i. Based on the assumptions of atomic theory, Dalton explained the law of conservation of mass.
ii. He stated that, during a chemical reaction, atoms can rearrange and change their partners. Molecules
could be decomposed into atoms.
iii. However, total number of atoms in the reactants and products should be same. Thus, mass is conserved
during a reaction. .
Q.29. How was the law of multiple proportion explained by Dalton on the basis of his atomic theory?
Ans: i. The law of multiple proportion states that, "if two elements chemically combine with each other
forming two or more compounds with different compositions by mass, then the ratios of masses of
two interacting elements in the two compounds are small whole numbers ".
ii. According to Dalton's atomic theory, compounds are formed when atoms of different elements combine.
iii. Dalton explained that under certain conditions, atoms of two types combine in the ratio 1:1 to form a
molecule. Under some other conditions, they may combine in the ratio 1:2 or 1:3 or 2:3, etc.
Dalton proposed some symbols for some common atoms and molecules. They are shown in the following

1.6 : Concepts of elements atoms and molecules :

Q.30. Explain the following terms:
i. Atoms ii. Molecules
Ans: i. Atoms:
a. The smallest indivisible particle of an element is called an atom. Thus, it has properties similar to
that of the element.
b. Atoms mayor may not exist freely. Atoms of almost all the elements can react with one another
Some Basic Concepts of Chemistry 12
to form compounds.
c. Every atom of an element has definite mass of the order of 10–27 kg and has a spherical shape of
radius of the order of 10–15 m.
d. The smallest atom of the element is that of hydrogen with mass of 1.667 × 10 –27 kg.
eg. Water consists of 3-atoms; 2-hydrogen atoms and l-oxygen atom.
The properties of the constituent atoms are different from those of their respective compounds.
eg. Carbon dioxide gas is used as a fire extinguisher although carbon is combustible and oxygen supports
ii. Molecules:
a. A molecule is an aggregate of two or more atoms. of definite composition which are held together
by chemical bonds.
b. A molecule may contain atoms of same elements or different elements.
c. It is the smallest independent unit of a compound which exists freely. It has all the properties of
the original compound.
d. It cannot be divided into constituent atoms with the help of simple methods but decomposition
into constituent atoms can be achieved under drastic conditions. .
eg. Water molecule (H2O).
1.7 : Atomic and molecular masses :
Q.31. Why do different elements have different atomic masses?
Justify: "It is not possible to weigh a single atom".
Ans: i. Each and every atom of an element consists of fixed number of protons, neutrons and electrons,
which are the subatomic particles.
ii. The number of protons differs from atom to atom.
iii. As the number of subatomic particle changes, the mass of the atom changes.
iv. The size of one atom is of the order of 10–15 m. The mass is of the order of 10–27 kg.
Thus it is not possible to weigh a single atom.
Q.32. How is atomic mass measured?
Why is atomic mass called relative mass?
Ans: i. The size ofa single atom is of the order of 10–15 m and the mass is of the order of 10–27 kg. Thus it is
not possible to weigh a single atom.
ii. The masses of the atoms of the elements can be determined experimentally by using mass spectrograph.
iii. For this purpose, a standard element is chosen and assigned appropriate value of mass of an atom.
iv. By international agreement in 1961, for determining atomic masses, carbon-12, a distinct atom of
carbon, was chosen as the standard with its atomic mass as 12.000 atomic mass unit (abbreviated as
v. Atomic mass unit is defined as 1/12 of the mass of an atom of carbon-12 equal to 1.6605 × 10 –24 g.
vi. The masses of all other atoms are determined relative to the mass of an atom of carbon-12. Thus,
atomic mass is called as relative mass.
Recently, the unit of atomic mass, amu is replaced by 'u' which means 'unified mass' .
Q.33. Define isotopes.
Ans: Isotopes are the atoms of the same element having same atomic number but different mass number.
Therefore isotopes of an element contain same number of protons and electrons but different number of
Q.34. Explain the need of the term average atomic mass?
Some Basic Concepts of Chemistry 13
Ans: i. Several naturally occurring elements exist in the form of two or more isotopes. They have different
isotopic masses.
ii. In any sample of an element, the isotopes are present in different quantities.
iii. the observed atomic mass of the atom of the element is the average atomic mass of the element. The
natural abundances of the isotopes are taken into consideration for this purpose. The natural abundance
is the percentage occurrence.
iv. Thus, it is the average weight of an atom of the element which is used in calculating the atomic weight
of the element.
v. Chemistry is a macroscopic science and involves a large number of atoms (or molecules). Hence, an
average mass of an atom or average atomic mass is an inevitable term.
Chlorine has two isotopes, CI–35 and CI–37, present in 75% and 25% proportion respectively. Hence,
the atomic weight of chlorine is the weighed average of these two isotopic weights i.e., (35.0 × 0.75) +
(37.0 × 0.25) = 35.5.
i. The variation of the exact atomic mass of isotope of elements with its relative abundance is obtained
by using the mass spectrometer with higher precision.

ii. By using Aston's mass spectrometer, it was shown that Neon exists in nature in the form of a mixture
of the following three isotopes:
a. Neon-20 with atomic mass 19.9924 u with natural abundance 90.92%·
b. Neon - 22 with atomic mass 21.9914 u with natural abundance 8.82%.
c. Neon - 21 with atomic mass 20.9940 u with natural abundance 0.26%.
The observed atomic mass of Neon is its average atomic mass which is calculated as shown below:
Average atomic mass of Ne
(Atomic mass of Ne-20 × % of Ne-20) 
=  +Atomicmassof Ne-22 × % of Ne-22  100
 + Atomic mass of Ne-21 × % of Ne-21
= [19.9924 u × 90.92 + 21.9914 u × 8.82 + 20.994 u × 0.26] /100 = 20.1713 u
Q.35. Define the term "Molecular Mass".
Ans: Molecular mass of a substance is defined as the ratio of mass of one molecule of a substance to of the
mass of one atom of Carbon- 12.
Some Basic Concepts of Chemistry 14
It is also the alge.braic sum of atomic masses of constituent atoms which con.stitute the molecule.
Q.36. What are the 'characteristics of molecular mass (molar mass)?
Ans: i. Molecular mass is also expressed in amu.
ii. It indicates comparative mass of a molecule of a compound with respect to of the mass of one
atom of Carbon-12.
iii. The molar mass expressed in gram is known as gram molar mass. 1 gram molar mass is also known
as 1 gram molecule or 1 gram mole or 1 mole.
iv. 1 mole of the element is the amount of the element equal to its atomic mass in gram. It is also called
1 gram atom of the element.
1.8 : Avogadro's law :
Q.37. State and explain Avogadro's law.
Ans: i. In the year 1811, Avogadro combined Gay Lussac's law and Dalton's theory and thereby proposed
Avogadro's law.
ii. Avogadro's law states that, "equal volumes of all gases, under identical conditions of temperature and
pressure, contain equal number of molecules ".
iii. Mathematically, Avogadro's law is stated as, "at constant pressure and temperature, volume of a gas
is directly proportional to the number of molecules".
iv. V  number of molecules (P, T constant)
Since number of molecules is proportional to the number of moles of gas n,
V  n (P, T constant)
V mass of gas
or = constant, where n = molar mass of gas
v. At standard temperature and pressure (STP condition), i.e., at 273.15 K and 1 atmosphere, the volume
of 1 mole of a gas i.e., molar volume of a gas can be calculated by gas equation,
PV = nRT
Volume per mol (molar volume) =
= , (R = 0.08206 L atm mol–1 K–1)
n P
0.08206  273.15
= 1atm = 22.414 L mol–1.

vi. Thus 1 mole of any pure gas occupies a volume of 22.414 L (or 0.022414 m3) at standard temperature
and pressure.
The value 22.414 L mol–1 is called Avogadro's molar volume or molar gas volume at STP.
Q.38. Describe the significance of Avogadro's number.
Ans: The significance of Avogadro's number is as follows:
i. Avogadro's number is equal to the number of molecules present in one gram mole or one gram
molecular weight of any compound. Gram molecular weight of any substance is the weight in grams
of Avogadro's number, i.e., 6.022 × 1023 molecules.
ii. It is equal to the number of molecules in one mole or number of atoms in one gram atomic weight of
an element. Gram atomic weight of an element is the weight of Avogadro number of atoms.
iii. It is equal to the number of molecules in 22.414 dm3 of any gas at STP.
iv. The actual weight of a molecule of a compound or an atom of an element can be calculated using this
Some Basic Concepts of Chemistry 15
Q.39. What is Atomicity?
Ans: Atomicity of a molecule is the total number of atoms of constituent elements combined toform a molecule.
eg. Atomicity of Oxygen (O2) is two, while that of Ozone (O3) is three.
He and Ne are monoatomic
O2, N2 and H2 are diatomic
O3 is triatomic
P4 is tetraatomic
S8 is Polyatomic.
Q.40. Explain how an atom of an element is distinguished from its molecule.
Ans: i. Consider the formation of hydrogen chloride from hydrogen and chlorine.
ii. Hydrogen and chlorine do not exist in free atomic state but exist in molecular state and molecules take
part in the reaction to form hydrogen chloride.
iii. The reaction may be written as
Hydrogen + Chlorine   Hydrogen chloride
According to
Gay Lussac's law: [1 volume] [1 volume] [2 volumes]
According to
Avogadro's law: (V  n) [n molecules] [n molecules] [2n molecules]
1  1 
Dividing by 2n  2 molecule   2 molecule  [1 molecule]
   
1 1
iv. This shows that molecule of hydrogen and molecule of chlorine give 1 molecule of HCl. If
2 2
molecules of hydrogen and chlorine are considered to be monoatomic, it indicates that atoms are So,
the molecule of hydrogen and chlorine are considered to be diatomic.

Q.41. Explain mole concept.

Ans: i. The mass of one atom of an element or one molecule of a compound is negligibly small and is difficult
ii. The amount of a substance equal to its atomic mass or molar mass in grams is 1 mole of a substance.
iii. Thus, one mole of a substance is defined as the amount of the substance that contains the number of
particles (atoms, molecules, ions or electrons, etc.) as present in 0.012 kg of carbon–12.
iv. This number of particles is determined to be equal to 6.022 × 10 23 particles.
Q.42. What is Avogadro Number (NA)?
Ans: The number of atoms, molecules, ions, or electrons, etc. present in 1 mole of a substance is found to be
equal to 6.022 × 1023, which is called Avogadro Number (NA). Thus, NA = 6.022 × 1023 mol–1