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States of Matter in Chemical Equations

Posted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:11 pm
by Vincent Chiang 1L
May seem like a silly question, but I noticed during lecture notes that every time the professor displayed a chemical equation, he'd always have each molecule's state of matter in parentheses. Is it incorrect to write a chemical equation without writing the states of matter? Thanks in advance.

Re: States of Matter in Chemical Equations

Posted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:36 pm
by Sammy Thatipelli 1B
It is not correct to write the chemical equation without identifying the states of matter because you need information on the states of matter to understand the equation fully. It is necessary to write the states of matter in parenthesis because it tells you what type of experiment is occurring (ex. combustion, decomposition) at the moment.

Re: States of Matter in Chemical Equations

Posted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:39 pm
by Alex Kashou
Technically, it is not correct to write chemical reactions without their state of matter. Writing the state of the substance allows us to determine what is formed and later on, espeicially if there is a dissociation. For example, Aluminum metal (Al (s)) is written different than a dissociated aluminum ions (Al+3 (aq)). Thus, we can determine from an the states from the problem and write the proper reaction.

Re: States of Matter in Chemical Equations

Posted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:40 pm
by Leah Thomas 2E
In my high school chemistry class my teacher was pretty lenient about not writing the states of matter, but now I regret it because it makes me lazy when writing out chemical equations. You should get used to writing out the entirety of the equation as it will assist you in solving word problems with experiment and determining what kind of products are formed. i.e. combustion is pretty important.

Re: States of Matter in Chemical Equations

Posted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:45 pm
by Ayona Sengupta
I guess for now you might not be penalized but not writing out states might confuse you later on when writing equations for things like electrolysis where you might need to know the product formed or accumulating. It also helps for when you might need an understanding of the qualitative side of things such as if effervescence is seen.