# How do I balance equations?

### Fotios Tsitsos

I love using Mathematics and Science to explain and understand the world.

The process of balancing chemical equations is done so that the law of conservation of mass is obeyed. What you need to do when balancing equations is to count how much of each element you have on the left side and how much you have on the right side and add a number (coefficient) so that the numbers on both sides are the same. For example in the simple equation for the formation of water you know that the process taking place involves a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. The first step is to write an equation with chemical elements i.e: H2 +O2 -> H2O You see then that on the left hand side you have 2 atoms of oxygen and on the right hand side you only have 1 atom. To balance this you add a coefficient on the right hand side like this: H2 +O2 -> 2(H2O) *the parentheses are not needed when you write this in proper chemical notation But then you realise that you have 4 atoms of hydrogen on the right hand side and 2 on the left so to fix this you add a coefficient of two on the left hand side in hydrogen: 2(H2) +O2 -> 2(H2O) And this is the final balanced equation.

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