The Mole, Avogadro’s Number and Albert Einstein
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2021

The molea concept and Avogadro’s number are discussed as sought by Albert Einstein in his PhD thesis of 1905. Einstein would probably have regarded the metric system of units based on centimetre-gram-second (cgs) preferable to today’s SI system and specifically he would have rejected a recent SI suggestion to redefine Avogadro’s constant as based on a nonatomistic continuum description of matter. He would probably also have preferred keeping a dualistic definition of mole able of bookkeeping both mass and number of particles: we advocate that here and call it the ‘Einstein Definition’ and as Avogadro’s number we shall adopt an integer, the cube of 84446888 as suggested by Fox and Hill, providing also a definition of the kilogram based on the atomic mass of the carbon 12 isotope.

Einstein was the first to explain the microscopic movements of pollen grains reported by Robert Brown in 1828 and his explanation that the particles move as a result of an unequal number of water molecules bumping into them from opposite sides was what finally made the scientific world accept the atom theory in its modern shape. In a cosmic diffusion analogy, pollen or bacterial spores moving randomly in outer space driven by the solar winds between solar systems can be envisaged. Applying Einstein’s diffusion theory, one can argue that life might have emerged from far outside of our planet from billions of solar systems, though not from outside of our Milky Way galaxy. As a curiosity we note that the number of solar systems (stars) in the Universe has been estimated to be of the order of Avogadro’s number.

Einstein Diffusion

Problematic SI Units

Chemical Bond

Einstein Definitions

Kilogram Definition


Stellar Life



Bengt Nordén

Chalmers, Kemi och kemiteknik, Kemi och biokemi

Molecular Frontiers Journal

2529-7325 (ISSN) 2529-7333 (eISSN)

Vol. In press



Astronomi, astrofysik och kosmologi

Systemvetenskap, informationssystem och informatik med samhällsvetenskaplig inriktning



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