# Empirical Formula vs Molecular Formula

We’re going to say that the empirical formula
is also known as the simplest formula. We’re going to say it represents the simplest
whole number ratio of moles of each element in a compound. The empirical formula can sometimes be different
than the molecular formula. The molecular formula is also known as the
actual formula. We’re going to say it represents the actual
or true whole number ratio of each element in the compound. Let’s just see what this means. Beside this, we have a box of C6H12O6. This is the formula for glucose. A simple monosaccharide sugar that our body
uses for energy. We’re going to say that’s the actual formula
of glucose. That represents the molecular formula of glucose. Now, though, we might be asked what is the
empirical formula for glucose. Just think of this in the same way you would
with algebra. If your professor says, I give you two-fourths
and they want the actual answer, the actual answer would not be two-fourths. We can reduce this even further. We can reduce it to one-half. The two-fourths would be, in a sense, the
molecular formula. The one-half would be the most reduced form
of our answer. That would represent our empirical formula. I tell you the molecular formula for glucose
is C6H12O6. We’re going to say that all those numbers
are divisible by six so that gives us a new formula, CH2O. That CH2O would represent the empirical formula
of glucose. It’s the lowest, most reduced form of each
of those elements, still keeping them in whole number form.

## 2 thoughts on “Empirical Formula vs Molecular Formula”

1. Öko says:

this is amazing – thank you

2. Daniel Jinks says:

Great video, it was very useful. Thank you.