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Problem: One of the most important enzymes in the world—nitrogenase, the plant protein that catalyzes nitrogen fixation—contains active clusters of iron, sulfur, and molybdenum atoms. Crystalline molybdenum (Mo) has a body-centered cubic unit cell (d of Mo = 10.28 g/cm3). Calculate the atomic radius of Mo.

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We’re being asked to find the atomic radius of crystalline molybdenum (Mo) that has a body-centered (BCC) cubic unit cell.


A body-centered cubic (BCC) unit cell is composed of a cube with one atom at each of its corners and one atom at the center of the cube


Recall that the edge length (a) of a BCC unit cell can be calculated using the equation:

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Problem Details

One of the most important enzymes in the world—nitrogenase, the plant protein that catalyzes nitrogen fixation—contains active clusters of iron, sulfur, and molybdenum atoms. Crystalline molybdenum (Mo) has a body-centered cubic unit cell (d of Mo = 10.28 g/cm3). Calculate the atomic radius of Mo.

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Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Oppenheim's class at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

What textbook is this problem found in?

Our data indicates that this problem or a close variation was asked in Chemistry: The Molecular Nature of Matter and Change - Silberberg 8th Edition. You can also practice Chemistry: The Molecular Nature of Matter and Change - Silberberg 8th Edition practice problems.