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Published byJulia Dolan Modified over 3 years ago

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How to balance chemical equations Understanding how to balance the right and left side of any equations

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Step one: write the equation Mg + O 2 = MgO Mg + O 2 = MgO Magnesium is being combined with oxygen Magnesium is being combined with oxygen

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Step two: count the individual atoms in the equation in step one Mg + O 2 = MgO Mg + O 2 = MgO 1 + 2 = 1 + 1 1 + 2 = 1 + 1 This contains one magnesium and two oxygen atoms on the left side and the right side of the equation contains only one magnesium and one oxygen. This contains one magnesium and two oxygen atoms on the left side and the right side of the equation contains only one magnesium and one oxygen. The equation is not balanced. The equation is not balanced.

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Step three: use coefficients to balance the atoms Coefficients are numbers that go in front of the atoms and molecules to either increase or decrease their numbers to balance the equations. Coefficients are numbers that go in front of the atoms and molecules to either increase or decrease their numbers to balance the equations. Mg + O 2 = MgO Mg + O 2 = MgO 2 2 2/2 2 2 2/2 2Mg + O 2 = 2MgO 2Mg + O 2 = 2MgO

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Step four: go back and check your work. 2Mg + O 2 = 2MgO 2Mg + O 2 = 2MgO The idea is to redo step number two and count the number of atoms on either side of the equation in order to ensure your count for each side is the same. The idea is to redo step number two and count the number of atoms on either side of the equation in order to ensure your count for each side is the same.

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A chemical equation is a short, easy way to show a chemical reaction using symbols instead of words. A reactant is the substance you have at the beginning.

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