Discussion: The Mole

It’s always hard to grasp a new idea that isn’t tangible or can’t be seen. Think back to when you first learned about negative numbers. Up until that point you learned about numbers mainly by using items you could touch and physically count. Negative values blew that understanding right out of the water! The best way to visualize negative values is yet another construct you have to learn – the number line.

Number line from -3 to 3 showing -1,-2,-1,0,1,2,3 evenly spaced on a line with arrowed endpoints

Chemistry often uses measurements that may be unfamiliar to students because they are not used in everyday life. Even though they are foreign at first, you must develop an understanding of these measurements because they are so useful in various science fields.

Answer the following questions in your discussion post:

  1. What is a mole?
  2. Is the mole a unit?
  3. What would you use to measure a mole?
  4. Why do scientists use moles?
  5. To help yourself and others conceptualize large numbers, find an online example that can help us understand the extent of:
    • a million
    • a billion
    • a mole
    • the wealth of the richest person in the world
  6. Leave a comment for the person who finds the most unique or helpful illustration/description of one of the concepts.