Equivalent weight (also known as gram equivalent) is a term which has been used in several contexts in chemistry. In its most general usage, it is the mass of one equivalent, that is the mass of a given substance which will:
- supply or react with one mole of hydrogen cations H+ in an acid–base reaction; or
- supply or react with one mole of electrons e
− in a redox reaction.
Equivalent weight has the dimensions and units of mass, unlike atomic weight, which is dimensionless. Equivalent weights were originally determined by experiment, but (insofar as they are still used) are now derived from molar masses. Additionally, the equivalent weight of a compound can be calculated by dividing the molecular weight by the number of positive or negative electrical charges that result from the dissolution of the compound.
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