Balancing Chemical Equations Video Lessons

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Concept: Balancing Chemical Reactions

Problem: In the PhET simulation, click on the Game icon at the bottom of the screen. Balance the given chemical equations by changing the coefficients placed before each compound and then clicking Check. When a reaction is balanced correctly a yellow face will appear with a smile.After practicing with the game, balance the given chemical equations without use of the simulation. Drag the appropriate labels to their respective targets. Leave the target empty for a coefficient of 1.Balancing chemical equationsWhen balancing equations, subscripts can never be changed because this reflects a change in the molecular structure; for example, changing CO2 to CO results in a different molecule.To balance an equation, the coefficients are changed so that the number of each type of atom on the reactant side of the equation equals the number of each type of atom on the product side of the equation.Start by balancing atoms that appear in the most complex structures and in the most structures first. Balance elements that occur by themselves last. If a fractional coefficient is present in the chemical equation, then multiply all of the coefficients by the denominator of that fraction to clear the fraction.

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Problem Details

In the PhET simulation, click on the Game icon at the bottom of the screen. Balance the given chemical equations by changing the coefficients placed before each compound and then clicking Check. When a reaction is balanced correctly a yellow face will appear with a smile.

After practicing with the game, balance the given chemical equations without use of the simulation. Drag the appropriate labels to their respective targets. Leave the target empty for a coefficient of 1.


Balancing chemical equations

When balancing equations, subscripts can never be changed because this reflects a change in the molecular structure; for example, changing CO2 to CO results in a different molecule.

To balance an equation, the coefficients are changed so that the number of each type of atom on the reactant side of the equation equals the number of each type of atom on the product side of the equation.

Start by balancing atoms that appear in the most complex structures and in the most structures first. Balance elements that occur by themselves last. If a fractional coefficient is present in the chemical equation, then multiply all of the coefficients by the denominator of that fraction to clear the fraction.

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