(a) State and explain the law of multiple proportions. (b) How is the law of multiple proportions...


(a) State and explain the law of multiple proportions.

(b) How is the law of multiple proportions different from the law of definite proportions?

Laws in Chemistry:

A number of laws and theories have been proposed to explain the properties and structure of atoms and molecules. These laws were based on assumptions and had limitations too, but they provided the base for the modern theory.

Answer and Explanation: 1

Law of multiple proportions states that "If two elements form a number of molecules or compounds, then the ratio of the mass of the second element that combines with the first element will always be in a fixed ratio of whole numbers."

While the law of definite proportions states that," every chemical compound has fixed proportion of the constituent elements."

The difference between both laws can be understood by the examples.

The molecule HCl is comprised of two elements, hydrogen, and chlorine in a 1:1 ratio. It will always be the same no matter what is the concentration of the HCl solution or how much is the amount or what is the source of its preparation. This is explained by the law of definite proportions.

But two elements can combine in a number of ways like in the case of CO and {eq}CO_2 {/eq}, both the elements are the same but they combine in a different manner and form two entirely different molecules. In this case, the law of multiple proportions is applied.

Learn more about this topic:

What is Chemistry? - Definition, History & Branches


Chapter 2 / Lesson 14

In this lesson, learn about the science of chemistry. The history and branches of chemistry are explained while covering what chemistry is the study of.

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