Beans and Moles

In this experiment, I worked with beans to help demonstrate what a mole is. Now I know what you’re thinking. What do moles and beans have in common? Well prepare to find out!

To begin, I got 5 types of beans (Lentil, Lime, Black, Kidney, Garbanzo), and counted 50 of each. I then massed them one at a time, using the same cup for each type of bean. Once I got this mass, I subtracted the mass of the cup to discover the mass of the beans themselves. The final mass of these beans was:

Lentil- 2.602g




Garbanzo- 25.07g

I then found the relative mass of each bean by dividing the mass of each bean by the mass of the lightest bean.

Lentil- 2.602/2.602=1.000g

Lima- 60.656/2.602=23.311g

Black- 10.033g/2.602=3.856g

Kidney- 25.528/2.602=9.811g

Garbanzo- 25.07/2.602=9.635g

In order to find the number of “beans in a pot”, I just set a measuring scale to the relative mass of a certain bean, and then kept putting that type of bean on the scale until the scale went over the number. The scale had to be at or below the relative mass. Conveniently, all of the beans had 19 “beans in a pot”. So the “pot” is really just telling you how many beans there are in the relative mass of that type of bean. This is very similar to how a mole holds multiple atoms or molecules, depending on their atomic weight. Both the pot and the mole are just a way of saying how many items are inside them( beans or atoms). See what I was talking about when I said they were similar? In science, the relative atomic mass used for the mole is …Hydrogen.  Remember earlier, in order to find the relative mass for our beans we divided by the smallest mass? Well, Hydrogen weighs the least of all the elements, with an atomic weight of only 1.01g, so Hydrogen is the lucky element that gets to be used. IMG_1714[1]


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