Posted by: Green Knight | October 23, 2011

Happy Mole Day

No, I don’t refer to the burrowing rodents, fifth-column informers, or the beauty mark on Cindy Crawford’s luscious lip.  And since I forgot to tip my hat to World Food Day on the 16th (the theme this year was “Millions Against Monsanto,”) I thought I’d at least give recognition to Avogadro’s number.  From Wikipedia:

Mole Day is an unofficial holiday celebrated among chemists on October 23, between 6:02 AM and 6:02 PM, making the date 6:02 10/23 in the American style of writing dates. The time and date are derived from Avogadro’s number, which is approximately 6.02×1023, defining the number of particles (atoms or molecules) in one mole of substance, one of the seven base SI units.

Mole Day originated in an article in The Science Teacher in the early 1980s. Inspired by this article, Maurice Oehler, now a retired high school chemistry teacher from Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, founded the National Mole Day Foundation (NMDF) on May 15, 1991.

Many high schools around the United States, South Africa, Australia, and in Canada celebrate Mole Day as a way to get their students interested in chemistry, with various activities often related to chemistry or moles.”

[They had to readjust Avogadro’s number very slightly about 10 years ago due to more exact info about carbon isotopes, but I won’t go into that here.]

So have some chicken mole today, Ole, olé; just don’t use 55.44 grams of NaCl in the recipe.  A mole of salt would be too salty.  And the pic is of the burrowing rodent, because I can’t resist a pun.

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