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March 27, 2017

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Why was carbon chosen over silicon in defining the mole?

  • Chem history - ,

    The standard is C-12, which is a widely naturally occuring isotope of carbon, found in nature. Silicon is not commonly found in nature uncombined.
    The selection of the international standard was arbitrary, and could have been any element. One usually wants in a standard: widely available, easy to use (unreactive), and cheap.

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