The Law of Conservation of Mass

The law of conservation was created in 1789 by a french chemist, Antonine Lavoisier. The law of conservation of mass means that mass can not be created or destroyed in a chemical reaction. For example, When charcoal burns the mass of the soot, ashes, and gases, equals the original mass of the charcoal and the oxygen when it first reacted. So the mass of the product equals the mass of the reactant. A reactant is when two or more elements chemically interact to make a new substance and a product is the substance that is formed as the result of a chemical reaction. Mass and matter may not be able to be created or destroyed but it can change forms to other substances like liquids, gasses, solids, etc. Another example is an Ice cube. if you have an ice cube and it melts into a liquid and if you heat that liquid up, it becomes a gas. It looks like it disappeared but it but it is still there.


Its important to know the law well because if your in a situation where there's a 300 pound tree that is burning down. When it is done burning down, there is only ashes left and all of them together weigh 10 pounds. Well it makes you wonder where the other 290 pounds went. Basically the missing 290 pounds was released into the atmosphere as smoke so the only thing left that you could see was the 10 pounds of ash, and if you knew the law of conservation of mass then you would know that the other 290 pounds had to go somewhere because it had to equal the mass of the tree before it burnt down.


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Resources.
"Law of conservation of mass." ISCID Encyclopedia of Science and Philosophy . The Conservation Laws of Physics, N.D. Web. 11 Feb. 2011. <http://www.iscid.org/encyclope dia/Law_of_Conservation_of_Mas s>.

http://www.valdosta.edu/~arsmith/ebook2.html
http://mooni.fccj.org/~ethall/1025/chapter10.htm