Atomic Mass Unit

All the atomic masses of the elements are determined relative to 12C. The atomic mass unit (AMU) is a precise number defined as exactly 1/12th the mass of a 12C (carbon) atom (1.9944235 × 10-23 g / 12 = 1.66057 x 10-24 g). Atomic mass units allow for determination of relative atomic masses of atoms for different elements. So, the AMU of Carbon is precisely 12 while that of 16O is 15.99491 AMU.

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