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##### Asked by: Roksana Lysyansky

science chemistry# What is represented by the numbers coefficients that are placed in front of the formulas in a balanced equation?

Last Updated: 9th February, 2020

**numbers placed in front**of

**formulas**to

**balance equations**are called

**coefficients**, and theymultiply all the atoms in a

**formula**. Thus, the symbol“2 NaHCO3” indicates two units of sodium bicarbonate,which contain 2 Na atoms, 2 H atoms, 2 C atoms, and 6 O atoms (2 X3= 6, the

**coefficient**times the subscript forO).

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Simply so, what does the number in front of a chemical formula mean?

Coefficients are the **numbers in front** of the**formulas**. First: the coefficients give the **number** ofmolecules (or atoms) involved in the reaction. In the examplereaction, two molecules of hydrogen react with one molecule ofoxygen and produce two molecules of water.

One may also ask, how do you find the coefficient in a chemical equation? **In general, to balance an equation, here are the things weneed to do:**

- Count the atoms of each element in the reactants and theproducts.
- Use coefficients; place them in front of the compounds asneeded.

Moreover, which is the number placed in front of an element's symbol in a chemical formula?

The little **number** you see to the right of the**symbol** for an **element** is called a subscript. That**number** indicates the **number** of atoms of that**element** present in the compound. When balancing an**equation**, you can change the coefficients but not thesubscripts.

What function does adding a coefficient in a chemical equation serve?

The numerical **coefficients** in **chemicalequations** show the ratio of the molecules of each**substance** involved in a **chemical reaction** (bothreactants and products). This tells us that two molecules ofhydrogen (H2) **will** react with one molecule of oxygen (O2) togive two molecules of water (H2O).