Law of multiple proportions

Many combinations of elements can react to form more than one compound. In such cases, this law states that the weights of one element that combine with a fixed weight of another of these elements are integer multiples of one another.

The law of multiple proportions states that if two elements form more than one compound between them, the masses of one element combined with a fixed mass of the second element form in ratios of small integers.

A given set of elements can usually form two or more compounds in which the numbers of atoms of some of the elements are different. Because these numbers must be integers (you can’t have “half” an atom!), the mass of one element combined with a fixed mass of any other elements in any two such compounds can differ only by integer numbers.

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