States of Matter in Chemical Equations

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Kaley Qin 1K
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States of Matter in Chemical Equations

Postby Kaley Qin 1K » Thu Oct 08, 2020 12:12 pm

Should we be writing the states of matter of products and reactants when we are balancing chemical equations? For example, if we were writing the equation for the chemical reaction of aluminium and iron oxide, would we write Al(s) +Fe2O3(s) -> Al2O3 (s) + Fe(l) or do we write Al +Fe2O3 -> Al2O3 + Fe?

Lisa Seidl 3H
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Re: States of Matter in Chemical Equations

Postby Lisa Seidl 3H » Thu Oct 08, 2020 12:20 pm

I believe he does want us to write the states of matter since that is how they are listed in the textbook questions and that is where he gets the test questions from. However, I would think that he would probably specify if he wants them or not in the question (for tests), but on the homework I would write them since its good practice to identify which is which.

Grace_Remphrey_2J
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Re: States of Matter in Chemical Equations

Postby Grace_Remphrey_2J » Thu Oct 08, 2020 12:22 pm

Hello!

I would continue to write states of matter when balancing equations as I am pretty sure Dr. Lavelle uses the states of matter throughout his examples during lectures. Plus I'm sure it will be good practice for when we eventually take higher-level chemistry classes.

Hopefully that helps!

Michelle Nguyen 3F
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Re: States of Matter in Chemical Equations

Postby Michelle Nguyen 3F » Thu Oct 08, 2020 1:00 pm

Hi! I think it would be best to write the states of matter of the products and reactants while balancing chemical equations. They are written in the equation in Dr. Lavelle's lectures, and also they would be good practice! The states of matter of the products and reactants also become really important when we go into other concepts, so it would be a good habit to keep writing the states of matter. Hope this helps! :)

Rachel Jiang 3H
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Re: States of Matter in Chemical Equations

Postby Rachel Jiang 3H » Thu Oct 08, 2020 1:07 pm

Hi! I agree with all the other posts that you should probably put in states if they are given in the question or if you are sure of the states of matters of the elements/compounds. However, the UA of the workshop that I went to also suggested that if you are not exactly sure of the states of matter, then do not risk putting the wrong states. Hopefully this helps!

Samantha Lee 1A
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Re: States of Matter in Chemical Equations

Postby Samantha Lee 1A » Thu Oct 08, 2020 2:49 pm

The states of matter are REALLY important when it comes to chemical equations. When we start getting to other concepts, the states of matter could affect your answer. Also, it is a good idea to always put them down when writing the chemical equation as a habit now so you don't forget them later on when it really matters.

Lung Sheng Liang 3J
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Re: States of Matter in Chemical Equations

Postby Lung Sheng Liang 3J » Thu Oct 08, 2020 5:44 pm

Hello, including or not including states or matter is usually not a big deal. Many people write it because it is part of the nomenclature or to be precise in a chemical equation.

Karina Grover 1A
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Re: States of Matter in Chemical Equations

Postby Karina Grover 1A » Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:53 pm

Hi!

States of matter come into play in later concepts, but I think it is best to get in the habit of writing the states of matter in the chemical equations now. If the states of matter aren't given to you in the problem, then I wouldn't stress too much about it! If they are given, it definitely doesn't hurt to write them down.

I hope this was helpful! :)

Madison Muggeo 3H
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Re: States of Matter in Chemical Equations

Postby Madison Muggeo 3H » Fri Oct 09, 2020 9:15 am

Hi!

Similar to all the other comments, I would assume that unless it is stated in the problem we should not guess the states of the reactants and products. However, if it is given in the problem we should include them.

Brett Lieuallen 2A
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Re: States of Matter in Chemical Equations

Postby Brett Lieuallen 2A » Fri Oct 09, 2020 11:41 am

Labeling the states of matter also helps you visualize the process that is being performed in the reaction. For example seeing how a solid is dissolved by a liquid to form a aqueous product.

Joel Meza 3I
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Re: States of Matter in Chemical Equations

Postby Joel Meza 3I » Sun Oct 11, 2020 11:50 am

If the states of matter are given to you in an unbalanced chemical reaction, definitely include them when you balance. However, if the states of matter are not given to you initially, I don't believe it is necessary, at this level, to search the states of matter to include in the balanced chemical reaction (unless it specifically asks you to do so in the question).

Nick P 3D
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Re: States of Matter in Chemical Equations

Postby Nick P 3D » Sun Oct 11, 2020 1:11 pm

As many have said, I think it would be best to include states of matter in your balanced equations only if it is either asked of you to do so in the question or the unbalanced equation has them already. Guessing which states of matter each molecule is in would probably not be the best idea since it may just lead to confusion if they are inaccurate. They will likely be more important in later concepts but when it comes to just balancing equations it has little relevance.

Sabrina Galvan 3A
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Re: States of Matter in Chemical Equations

Postby Sabrina Galvan 3A » Sun Oct 11, 2020 7:27 pm

While it may be difficult to know which states all of the compounds may exist in, there are diatomic elements that would be best to know. These diatomic elements are O2, F2, I2, H2, N2, and Cl2 which cannot exist as a singular atom, and are therefore a compound of two of itself that must also exist in gas form. Therefore, when a problem mentions that a compound reacts with nitrogen, then one should automatically know that the chemical equation will contain N2 to represent the mentioned nitrogenous reagent. This goes for the rest of the diatomic elements except for bromine, which is a liquid at room temperature.
Hope this helped!

Ke Huang 2G
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Re: States of Matter in Chemical Equations

Postby Ke Huang 2G » Sun Oct 11, 2020 7:49 pm

I think it depends on what the questions asks. If it needs us to balance the equation, we can write the states. If it only needs us to calculate something, we can save time without including it.


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