Define the Law of multiple proportions. Explain it with two examples. How does this law point to the existence of atoms?

Answers (1)

The Law of multiple proportions states that "If two elements can combine to form more than one compound, the mass of element combines with the fixed mass of the other element and is in the ratio of small whole numbers." For example, hydrogen reacts with oxygen to form water and

hydrogen peroxide.

Hydrogen + Oxygen →   Water

      2g              16g            18g

Hydrogen + Oxygen →   Hydrogen Peroxide

    2g                  32g                    34g

Here, the masses of oxygen combine with a fixed mass of hydrogen and have a simple ratio of 16:32 or 1:2. This Law reflects that reactants always combine in fixed proportions.

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