It’s Friday, October 21 – two days before National Mole Day! If you’re like me, you’ve spent the week drinking from your coffee mug that’s shaped like a beaker, you’ve been cooking with the spices you store in test tubes, you’ve been wearing your t-shirts with periodic tables printed on them and you’ve been telling your best chemistry jokes, all in preparation for Sunday.
For those who are unfamiliar, National Mole Day officially runs from 6:02 am to 6:02 pm on October 23rd to celebrate chemistry. It’s a very specific time window on a very specific date. Here’s why…
What’s at the heart of everything related to chemistry?
What is a mole?
A mole is a unit of measure. In chemistry, a mole is typically used to represent a number of components (ions, atoms, molecules, etc) and is equal to 6.022 x 1023 (see the resemblance to the date and time for National Mole Day?). So, for example, one mole of oxygen contains 6.022 x 1023 oxygen atoms.
This really long number, also known as Avogadro’s number, is pretty special. It allows us to relate the number of atoms in a molecule to its molecular weight which allows us to do cool things like balance chemical equations. For example, 1 mole of methane reacts with 2 moles of oxygen to form 1 mole of carbon dioxide and 2 moles of water, like this:
CH4 + 2 O2 → CO2 + 2 H2O
National Mole Day
To make sure the mole (and chemistry in general) is given the recognition it deserves, the National Mole Day Foundation was formed. Since 1991, the National Mole Day Foundation has been bringing awareness to Mole Day and supporting recognition and celebration of the holiday around the country. To generate further enthusiasm for the holiday, the foundation creates a new theme each year. This year’s theme is “The Periodic Table of EleMOLEments.”
Our Commitment to Chemistry
We love science of all kind – chemistry included. Chemistry helps us make the world a healthier, cleaner, safer place to live. Chemical measurements help us understand our surrounding environment. It helps us quantify the substances in the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. It helps us make the world a better place to live for generations to come.
So enjoy your Friday evening and prepare to celebrate chemistry in a manner that would make the National Mole Day Foundation proud. Start off by breaking out your Erlenmeyer cocktail mixing set, your glowing, radioactive element coasters, and kicking back with your favorite drink while you come up with your best Mole Day jokes.
Here are a few of mine:
Why is Avogadro so rich?
Because he’s a multi-mole-ionaire!
What do you get when you have a bunch of moles acting like idiots?
A bunch of moleasses!
Does Avogadro exaggerate?
He sure does! He makes mountains out of mole hills!
Send us some of your favorite jokes and let us know how you celebrate National Mole Day!