Definition of Simplest Formula

What Is the Simplest Formula in Chemistry?

The simplest formula or empirical formula for glucose indicates each molecule has hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen in a ratio of 2:1:1.
The simplest formula or empirical formula for glucose indicates each molecule has hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen in a ratio of 2:1:1. PASIEKA / Getty Images

Simplest Formula Definition

The simplest formula of a compound is a formula that shows the ratio of elements present in the compound. The ratios are denoted by subscripts next to the element symbols.

Also Known As: empirical formula

Simplest Formula Examples

Glucose has a molecular formula of C6H12O6. It contains 2 moles of hydrogen for every mole of carbon and oxygen.

The simplest or empirical formula for glucose is CH2O.