A quick reminder to set your clocks for Sunday morning, to be ready for National Mole Day! This year, Mole Day occurs at the end of the American Chemical Society’s National Chemistry Week, and of course is observed all day from 6:02AM to 6:02PM.
What is a mole? A mole is the amount of anything that contains 6.02 x 1023 elementary particles of that thing. That number 6.02 x 1023 is Avogadro’s Number, officially the number of carbon-12 atoms found in exactly 12 grams of carbon-12. The mole as a unit of measurement gives scientists a consistent method to convert between the micro- and the macro-, that is, between atoms/molecules and grams. Moles provide a very convenient way to express the amounts of substances involved in chemical reactions.
Why celebrate Mole Day? This year’s theme for National Chemistry Week is “Chemistry — Our Health, Our Future!” and highlights how chemistry improves our well-being in nutrition, medicine, and many other areas. A central and universal unit of measurement, the mole, that helps scientists improve our well-being is certainly well worthy of celebration.