Daily TWiP Archives

Something interesting has happened on (just about) every day of the year, and Daily TWiP provides the proof. An offshoot of my local events column The Week in Preview (affectionately known as TWiP), Daily TWiP was published April 2008-Aug. 2011 and is still giving readers reasons to celebrate.

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Daily TWiP – Oct. 23: National Mole Day

If you’re feeling resentful that we’re asking you to celebrate that bothersome creature that spent the summer systematically digging up your garden, don’t worry – it’s not that kind of mole. National Mole Day is a celebration of Avogadro’s number, which is 6.02×10^23, or one mole. Appropriately, this holiday is celebrated every Oct. 23rd from 6:02 a.m. to 6:02 p.m.

The mole is a basic unit of chemistry. One mole of any substance is equal to the number of “elemental entities” (atoms, molecules, and so on) present in 12 grams of carbon-12. This number of elemental entities is Avogadro’s number, or 6.02×10^23. Let’s try a demonstration:

  • One mole of water contains 6.02×10^23 molecules
  • One mole of iron contains 6.02×10^23 molecules
  •  One mole of sugar contains 6.02×10^23 molecules

No matter what the substance is, one mole of it will always contain 6.02×10^23 elemental itty-bitties.

If you’re having difficulty wrapping your mind around this concept (we know that for us, these are gears that haven’t spun in quite some time), we suggest grabbing the nearest high school chemistry student and having them explain it to you in greater detail. You can also find more information on the National Mole Day Foundation’s website.

– Teresa Santoski


Originally published Oct. 23, 2008.

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