Fractions
Moderators: Chem_Mod, Chem_Admin
Fractions
I know this was kind of addressed in a question someone asked earlier but I just wanted to ask if we would be marked down if we left the stoichiometric coefficient as a fraction? I know different professors prefer different things so I just wanted to clarify to see if it would necessarily be seen as a mistake if we left the fraction instead of multiplying both sides to get rid of it?
Re: Fractions
I'm guessing it's always best to make the fraction into an integer. I've heard that that is the way it's done in the scientific field and that it is preferred by many since it is more user friendly for future calculations.

 Posts: 102
 Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:18 am
Re: Fractions
In past chemistry classes, we have converted the fraction to a decimal and rounded to the correct number of sig figs. I assume Lavelle will prefer we do this since that is typically how figures are reported on lab reports and other experimental documents.

 Posts: 76
 Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:16 am
Re: Fractions
I would assume changing the fraction to an integer is the only way you would get full credit. The purpose of making a fraction is so that it's easy to convert all of the elements coefficients to whole numbers.

 Posts: 69
 Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:17 am
Re: Fractions
They might give you partial credit though even if you leave it in fractions as long as you show your work.

 Posts: 110
 Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:17 am
Re: Fractions
I would change the fraction to an integer since the equation is supposed to represent the exact reaction with the smallest whole integers, not a fraction of it.

 Posts: 104
 Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:17 am
Re: Fractions
I would personally refrain from keeping fractions in the formula because of how easy of a fix it is. All you really have to do is multiply everything by the denominator to remove the fraction. It's an easy fix for something you won't have to worry about later.

 Posts: 50
 Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:21 am
Re: Fractions
Dr.Lavelle states it's better that the fractions are left in whole numbers when balancing equations. Since he prefers it that way, I think it is better to keep the habit of doing it often when it comes down to fractions in a chemical equation.
Re: Fractions
You should multiply all coefficients to make them whole integers, especially if the question is asking for a molecular or empirical formula.

 Posts: 101
 Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:20 am
Re: Fractions
It's generally good practice to convert all the coefficients to integers, as that gives the most accurate representation of the chemical reaction.
Re: Fractions
I would convert all fractions into an integer but using fractions is a good way to keep the numbers straight and helps initially with balancing.

 Posts: 50
 Joined: Sat Sep 07, 2019 12:18 am

 Posts: 50
 Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:17 am

 Posts: 100
 Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:15 am

 Posts: 63
 Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:30 am

 Posts: 7
 Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:18 am
Re: Fractions
The coefficients should always be whole numbers even at their empirical formula notation. Just make them whole numbers, if anything at least at that point you would have gotten your molecular formula. Hope this helps.

 Posts: 107
 Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:21 am
Re: Fractions
I remember Prof. Lavelle suggesting that we should convert the fractional stoichiometric coefficients into whole integers.

 Posts: 102
 Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:17 am
Re: Fractions
It should always be expressed as a whole number. However, during the thermodynamics units, it would be beneficial to leave it as a fraction, but for now just express them as whole numbers.

 Posts: 94
 Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:16 am
Re: Fractions
I would convert it to an integer as the TAs always change it and they are the ones that grade the tests and homework.

 Posts: 41
 Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:15 am
Re: Fractions
its useful to use fractions in the process of figuring it out then multiplying the whole equation (both sides) by a least common denominator.
Return to “Balancing Chemical Reactions”
Who is online
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest