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When is it wrong to build conversion factors from given information?

I have a problem that says "1.00 g of water at 4°C has a volume of 1.00 mL.". Can I write 1.00 g water/4°C as a conversion factor?

No. That conversion factor implies that there is a relationship between g and °C which does not in fact exist. Suppose you have 2.00 g of water at 4°C. Then take away 1.00 g of water. Does the temperature change? If changing grams doesn't change °C;, you can't write a g-to-°C; conversion factor! It's ok to write 1.00g water/1.00 mL water, though, because mL of water does depend on g of water.

Author: Fred Senese senese@antoine.frostburg.edu



General Chemistry Online! When is it wrong to build conversion factors from given information?

Copyright © 1997-2010 by Fred Senese
Comments & questions to fsenese@frostburg.edu
Last Revised 08/17/15.URL: http://antoine.frostburg.edu/chem/senese/101/measurement/faq/no-relationship.shtml