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

The numbers placed in front of formulas tobalance 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 theformulas. 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:

  1. Count the atoms of each element in the reactants and theproducts.
  2. 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 thesymbol for an element is called a subscript. Thatnumber indicates the number of atoms of thatelement present in the compound. When balancing anequation, 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 eachsubstance 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).

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