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Theoretical yield is the maximum yield of a product that is found through calculations. Due to side reactions, impurities, product sticking to the side of walls, human error, etc. during experiments the actual yield will be less.
Theoretical yield is larger than actual yield because the actual yield comes from experiments. In experiments, competing reactions may occur, the reactants may not react fully, and the reaction may not have gone to completion. Other explanations for why the maximum product was not produced are also possible. The theoretical yield is the ideal and the maximum possible amount. Thus the actual yield is often less because experiments are not always ideal.
The theoretical yield is always larger than the actual yield because the theoretical yield is the calculated yield. When we calculate the yield, we use perfect numbers and assume that the reaction will go perfectly as planned. However, in the real world, there are many different factors involved in the reaction. Outside air and temperature conditions could affect how the reaction goes. Additionally, if a human sets up the reaction, human error when it comes to measurement and recording could also affect the reaction. The theoretical yield shows what would happen if a reaction went perfectly, which rarely happens in reality.
The actual yield usually differs from the theoretical yield due to potential discrepancies and human error that may occur during the process of the experiment, such as mistakes in measuring solutions or temperature, or loss of solution when transferring from beaker to beaker. The theoretical yield is the maximum amount of that product as a result of the reaction.
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