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A formula giving the proportions of the elements present in a compound but not the actual numbers or arrangement of atoms.
- ‘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.’
- ‘When the chemical formula of an ionic compound is written down, it is the empirical formula that is used.’
- ‘Analysis showed it to have an empirical formula that doesn't correspond to any compound that's ever been reported.’
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