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Chemical equation

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A chemical equation is an equation to show how atoms or molecules rearrange during any reaction. In order for a chemical equation to be correct, it must be balanced. It is much like an algebraic equation dealing with variables. Instead of Variables, it is molecules and atoms.

Balanced Chemical EquationEdit

In a basic chemical equation, you multiply what is needed, and then add up the atoms on both sides to see if all atoms are accounted for. If they are, then the Law of Conservation of Matter has been proven . If it has, then the equation is true. an example is the equation to the decomposition of water:

2(H2O) → 2(H2)+O2
In H2O, there are 2 hydrogen atoms. Multiply that by two because of the molecule number, or the 2 on the left of H2O.
There are now 4 Hydrogen atoms and 2 Oxygen atoms on the reactants' side.
the arrow represents either the reaction, or a catalyst that causes a reaction
Now we multiply 2 times the H2 molecule, which gives us four atoms.
Finally, we add the O2, and since there is no number next to it (regularly scripted), we just have 2 Oxygen atoms.
We have 4 hydrogen atoms and 2 oxygen atoms on the products' side.
4 hydrogen atoms + 2 oxygen atoms = 4 hydrogen atoms + 2 oxygen atoms

Now on both sides, we have 4 hydrogen atoms and 2 oxygen atoms. This is balanced. On the other hand, an equation could be written incorrectly, and therefore be false. Example:

2(H2O) → 2(H2)+2O2
In H2O, there are 2 hydrogen atoms. Multiply that by two because of the molecule number, or the 2 on the left of H2O.
There are now 4 Hydrogen atoms and 2 oxygen atoms on the reactants' side.
the arrow represents either the reaction, or a catalyst that causes a reaction
Now we multiply 2 times the H2 molecule, which gives us four atoms.
Finally, we multiply 2 times the O2 molecule, which gives us four atoms.
We have 4 hydrogen atoms and 4 oxygen atoms on the products' side.
4 hydrogen atoms + 2 oxygen atoms ≠ 4 hydrogen atoms + 4 oxygen atoms

The error was adding a 2 next to the oxygen molecule where it wasn't needed. That is how you set up, and solve a chemical equation.

Ionic EquationEdit

Chemical Equations are not just limited to adding up and accounting for atoms. There are also ionic equations. Ionic equations are chemical equations that involve/include electrolytes as well as atoms/molecules. This includes acid/base reactions, or some reactions where they are simply there, but not being a reactant, product, or catalyst. They are referred to as spectator ions.

More info on the topicEdit

For another explanation on this subject, including a more thorough explanation on Ionic Equations, visit en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_equation[1].

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