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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 7 Issue 4 (2002) pp 192-194

Why Do Chemists Weigh Things in Grams Instead of Gamus?

Roy W. Clark

Department of Chemistry, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN 37132
Received March 4, 2002. Accepted May 3, 2002

Published online: 7 June 2002

Abstract. This paper points out that chemists still call the determination of mass “weighing,” when doing so is incorrect. Legitimizing mass as a verb is advocated. It then suggests a new unit of mass for chemists, the gamu, or grand amu, that will change Avogadro’s number to an even ten to the 24th power. This will improve student understanding of macroscopic to microscopic conversions, while at the same time making these conversions computationally easier. Examples are given to compare calculations using both gamus and grams.

Key Words:  In the Classroom; general chemistry; mass; Avogadro

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Issue date: August 2, 2002

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