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Does Carbon Dioxide Have Mass?



Carbon dioxide DOES have mass.

More Info: Though it is a gas and may seem to be weightless, carbon dioxide (CO2) has mass. Like all gasses, liquids and solids, it is composed from elements that can be found on the periodic table. In particular, a single molecule of carbon dioxide possesses two different elements bonded together. As the name suggests, these elements are a single carbon atom, which is double bonded to two different oxygen atoms. This is often visually represented as O=C=O. [1]

Periodic Table: A Convenient Tool

The periodic table is a useful categorization of all the known elements in chemistry. It includes those found in nature as well as those created by scientists in laboratories.  Each element on the periodic table has a specific location and an atomic number. This number was not randomly assigned. It is a measure of the number of protons in the nucleus. A hydrogen atom, for example, has one proton. This means that any element with only one proton in its nucleus is therefore hydrogen. The periodic table is a convenient tool for chemists and anyone interested in chemistry. In addition to atomic numbers, the periodic table reveals chemical properties, electron configurations and atomic masses for each element. [2]

Elemental Mass Mathematics

The atomic mass is a value that quantifies the sum of the masses of all protons, electrons and neutrons in a single atom. [3] Though these components are incredibly tiny, they do possess mass. In addition to determining the mass for a single atom, atomic mass can be used to determine molecular mass, or the mass of a molecule. As it is composed of the elements carbon and oxygen, carbon dioxide has an atomic mass. Therefore, it has a molecular mass. [4]



[1] LenTech
Carbon Dioxide

[2] NASA-Cosmic Chemistry: Understanding Elements
The Periodic Table: Atoms, Elements, and Isotopes

[3] Clinton Community College
Atomic Mass and Mass Number

[4] Launceston College
Calculating Molecular Mass

Resource:  University of Wisconsin Madison-Department of Chemistry
Atomic Structure

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