Which molecular formula is also an empirical formula?

(1) C6H6

(2) H2O2

(3) N2H4

(4) N2O5

Answer and Explanation:

An empirical formula is a formula where the subscripts of the elements are in their lowest whole number ratio. In other words, we can not divide them anymore.

Let's take a look at each answer choice. Choice 1 is C6H6, we can divide both numbers by 6 and therefore this formula is not empirical. Moving to choice 2, H2O2, we can see again that we can divide by 2 and therefore this formula is not empirical either. Choice 3, N2H4 can be divided by 2, and choice 4 N2O5 can not be divided any further since 2 and 5 do not have a common divisor. Therefore, choice 4 is the correct answer.

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