# What is the simplest ratio of nitrogen to oxygen atoms in the compound nitrogen (iv) oxide?

## Question:

What is the simplest ratio of nitrogen to oxygen atoms in the compound nitrogen (iv) oxide?

## Chemical Formula:

The chemical formula of a substance directly expresses the composition in terms of the chemical symbol of the element and its corresponding subscript. With this, we can take the ratio of the number of atoms per element by simply expressing the chemical formula of a substance.

We express the chemical formula for the compound as {eq}\displaystyle N_2O_4 {/eq}. From the chemical formula, we determine that there are 2 atoms of N per 4 atoms of O. With this, we express the ratio between the atoms as {eq}\displaystyle \frac{2\ atom}{4\ atom} {/eq}, or simply {eq}\displaystyle \frac{1}{2} {/eq}.