When determining the formula of a compound, why do we divide by the smallest number of moles once we already have calculated the number of moles for each element in order to find the empirical formua of a given compound?
closed as off-topic by a-cyclohexane-molecule, Tyberius, A.K., Mithoron, Todd Minehardt Jul 13 '18 at 0:31
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The empirical formula is the simplest positive integer ratio of the atoms that are present. Thus, by dividing by the smallest number, we obtain the simplest whole number ratio of atoms.