Aluminum Foil Thickness

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Aluminum Foil Thickness: Chapter 11 The Mole
How thick is aluminum foil in centimeters?
How many atoms thick is this?                                  Gather Aluminum Foil Data
The small size of any one atom gives a clue              6. Carefully measure and record the length
to the relatively large number of atoms in a             and width of a piece of Aluminum foil to the
sample of matter that we can pick up and                 nearest 0.1 cm.
measure. The purpose of this activity is to              7. Measure the mass of the Aluminum foil
relate the size of an aluminum atom to the               and record.
thickness of a piece of aluminum foil.                   Note: Do not fold, spindle or mutilate the
foil in any way.
Objectives:                                              8. Answer the Analysis questions, and use
    Determine the density of Aluminum.               results to complete the data tables.
    Compute how many atoms thick a
piece of Aluminum foil is.

Materials:
Scissors              aluminum cylinder
Water                 aluminum foil
Ruler

Procedure:                                                        Measurement              Value
1. Form a hypothesis as to what directly                 A.    Mass of Al cylinder
observable data are necessary to compute                 B.    Initial volume of water
the thickness of a piece of Aluminum foil.
C.    Final volume of water
Determine Density of Al                          D.    Volume of Al cylinder
2. Determine the mass of the Aluminum
block or cylinder. Record.                               E.    Density of Al cylinder
Add water and record initial volume of                   F.    Length of Al foil
water. Gently lower Aluminum rod into
cylinder, and record final volume of water.              G.    Width of Al foil
Note that the Al rod must be completely                  H.    Mass of Al foil
immersed. Note also that the final water
level may not be above the highest
4. Remove Al rod from water and dry.                      J.   Thickness of foil
5. Calculate the density of Aluminum.
K.    Moles of Al in foil
L.    Atoms of Al in foil
Analysis Questions:
(Show all units where appropriate)

1. What is the purpose of the Aluminum cylinder?

2. Show calculations for determining the density of the Aluminum cylinder.

3. Using the density of Aluminum and the mass of the foil, calculate the volume of the
Aluminum foil.

4. Calculate the thickness, (height), of the aluminum foil, knowing the relationship:
V = L x W x H.

5. Assume that one Aluminum atom has a diameter of 2.5x10-8 cm. Calculate how many atoms
thick a piece of Aluminum foil is.

6. Calculate the number of moles of Aluminum in the foil.

7. Calculate the number of Aluminum atoms in the foil.

8. If the population of the world is 6.0x109 individuals, how many atoms of aluminum could you
distribute to each person from your sample of Aluminum foil?

Adapted from Glencoe Chemistry; Activity 8-2.

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