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Conservation of Mass in Chemical Reactions

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Chemical Reactions

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Lesson Focus

Conservation of Mass in Chemical Reactions

Chemistry

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You will be introduced to a chemical reaction and asked to investigate what happens when a solid is heated and the resulting chemical reaction occurs.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • Describe that mass is neither created nor destroyed.
  • Explain that the mass of reactants equals the mass of the products in chemical equations.
  • Write the equation form of the law of conservation of mass.
  • Apply the law of conservation of mass to chemical reactions.
  • Explain how a balanced chemical reaction conserves mass.

Everything You'll Have Covered

When a chemical reaction occurs, a substance is transformed into a new substance or substances. To represent this, chemical equations are written that include elements and compounds. These equations need to be balanced. Therefore, when chemical equations are written, the mass of the reactants need to be equal to the mass of the products. Coefficients are used to ensure that the total number of atoms for each element is equal to the reactants and the products in the reaction. Equations are balanced in order to uphold the law of conservation of mass, which states that mass cannot be created or destroyed.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 20 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts Learners need to know that each atom has its own atomic mass and that atoms combine to form molecules.
Course Chemistry
Type of Tutorial Experiment
Key Vocabulary atoms, balanced equation, chemical equation