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You are on page 1of 14

CHEMICAL SYMBOLS

A quick review:

The first letter is capitalized.

The second letter is lower case.

No two symbols are the same.

Never more than two symbols.

Elements are named after, latin terms, people,

places, gods, planets, and other things. The

symbol does not always match the elements

name.

SUBSCRIPTS

Subscripts-sub means below, script-write, so a

subscript is the number written below the

chemical symbol. It refers only to the

chemical symbol to its left.

Here, CaCO3 the subscript is the 3 and it refers

only to the oxygen.

SUBSCRIPTS

Here is a compound of carbon dioxide

CO2

In this compound the 2 is a subscript. It means

that you have two atoms of oxygen. It does

not refer to the carbon. It is understood that

the carbon has a subscript of 1.

COEFFICIENTS

Coefficients are the number that is written in

front of the molecule or compound. It tells

you how many of that entire compound that

you have.

**The coefficient only applies to the compound

to its right. If more than one compound is

present, they are separated by a + sign.

3CO2

Look at this substance.

Now you have both a subscript and a

coefficient. This means you now have 3

compounds of carbon dioxide. Each

compound contains 1 carbon and 2

oxygen.

Total atoms in all compounds=9 atoms.

EXAMPLES

2HCl This means the same thing as writing

HCl HCl. You have two of the compound.

Total H=2 Total Cl=2

3HCl + 6CaCO3 ------->

Here, the 3 and 6 are coefficients. The 3 refers only to

the HCl.

3

REACTANTS/PRODUCTS

2HCl + Chalk ----> water + Gas

Reactants --------> Products

Products are NEW MATTER with new

PROPERTIES.

Reactants are the chemicals that are added

together that REARRANGE to make new

matter. If you have no new matter then the

chemicals are NOT reactants, they are simply a

mixture.

PRACTICE PROBLEM 1

Use the compound below to answer the

ensuing questions.

7H3PO4

A. How many atoms are in one compound?

B. How many elements could be made?

C. How many atoms of oxygen are there total?

D. How many hydrogen atoms are there?

Answers next slide.

ANSWERS PROBLEM 1

A. There are 8 different atoms. Remember

the subscript for P is understood to be 1.

B. 3 since there are 3 different atoms, H,P,O.

C. Subscript x Coefficient, 4x7=28

D. There are 3 in one compound, 21 atoms in 7

compounds.

PRACTICE PROBLEM 2

5C4NaO2SO4CH3

A. How many different atoms are there?

B. How many atoms are there total?

C. How many oxygen atoms are there total?

D. How many atoms of sulfur are there?

ANSWERS TO PROBLEM 2

A. There are 5 different atoms. Oxygen and

Carbon are used twice but are still the same

atoms. C, Na, O, S, H are the atoms.

B. 80 total, 16 in one compound, but you have

5 compounds total, so 5 x 16 = 80.

C. A total of 30, 4 + 2 = 6 then 6 x 5 = 30.

D. 5 total.

PRACTICE PROBLEM 3

CaCO3 + 2HCl ----> CaCl2 + H2O + CO2

1. How many atoms are in the reactants?

2. How many atoms are in the products?

3. Has the law of conservation of mass been

violated? Explain.

ANSWERS PROBLEM 3

Reactants

Ca-1

C-1

O-3

H-2

Cl-2

Total: 9 atoms

Products

Ca-1

C-1

O-3

H-2

Cl-2

Total: 9 atoms

violated.

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