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Conservation of Mass

Mass of products equals mass of the reactants.

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I want to burn my homework!

Where does your homework end up going?

Credit: Rennett Stowe
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomsaint/2987926396/
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

[Figure1]

It’s late on a Monday night and you have to finish your English homework. The worksheet you are trying to complete is extremely hard and frustrating. Eventually, you give up and want to burn it because of the angst it is causing you. You fling your paper into the fireplace and voila! It seems to be gone. But where did it really go and what exactly happened to it?

 Creative Applications

  1. What does the paper change into? 
  2. If the original mass of the paper is 4.5 grams, what is the mass of the products that came out of the burning? 
  3. If you wanted to burn your pencil also, would the mass of the products be different from the mass of the pencil? How is this similar to your findings in Question 2? 
  4. How can you relate this concept to a chemical reaction?

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Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Rennett Stowe; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomsaint/2987926396/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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