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COUNTING ATOMS PART 1

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.

SUBSCRIPTS AND COEFFICIENTS

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.

The 6 refers to the CaCO .


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

The Law of Conservation of Mass has not been


violated.