Edexcel IGCSE Chemistry

Revision Notes

1.3.2 Calculate Relative Atomic Mass

Calculate Relative Atomic Mass

  • The relative atomic mass of each element is calculated from the mass number and relative abundances of all the isotopes of a particular element
  • The equation below is used where the top line of the equation can be extended to include the number of different isotopes of a particular element present
  • So, if there were 3 isotopes present then the top line of the equation would read:

(% of isotope A x mass of isotope A) + (% of isotope B x mass of isotope B) + (% of isotope C x mass of isotope C)

RAM Calculation Formula

Worked Example

The table shows information about the Isotopes in a sample of rubidium with 72% 85Rb and 28% 87Rb

Isotopes of rubidium, downloadable IGCSE & GCSE Chemistry revision notes

Use information from the table to calculate the relative atomic mass of this sample of Rubidium. Give your answer to one decimal place:


Relative Atomic Mass = 85.6

Exam Tip

Isotopes are easy to recognize from their notation as they have the same symbol but different mass numbers. For example, the two stable isotopes of copper are 63Cu and 65Cu

Author: Francesca

Fran has taught A level Chemistry in the UK for over 10 years. As head of science, she used her passion for education to drive improvement for staff and students, supporting them to achieve their full potential. Fran has also co-written science textbooks and worked as an examiner for UK exam boards.

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