Multiple proportions, law of
Waddington, Thomas C. Formerly, Department of Chemistry, University of Durham, Durham, United Kingdom.
- Additional Readings
This law states that, when two elements combine together to form more than one compound, the weights of one element that unite with a given weight of the other are in the ratio of small whole numbers. The law can be illustrated by the composition of the five oxides of nitrogen. One gram of nitrogen is combined with 2.85 g of oxygen in nitrogen pentoxide, N2O5; with 2.28 g in nitrogen dioxide, NO2; with 1.71 g in nitrogen trioxide, N2O3; with 1.14 g in nitric oxide, NO; and with 0.57 g in nitrous oxide, N2O. These numbers are in the simple ratio of 5:4:3:2:1. See also: Definite composition, law of
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