A formula giving the proportions of the elements present in a compound but not the actual numbers or arrangement of atoms. Compare with molecular formula, structural formula.
- Butene and ethene have the same empirical formula CH 2 but different molecular and structural formulas.
- The simplest version of the formula is the empirical formula.
- The empirical formula of a compound is that which is obtained through laboratory research.
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Syllabification: em·pir·i·cal for·mu·la
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