Fractions
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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.

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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.

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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.

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Re: Fractions
They might give you partial credit though even if you leave it in fractions as long as you show your work.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Re: Fractions
I remember Prof. Lavelle suggesting that we should convert the fractional stoichiometric coefficients into whole integers.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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