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Solving skeleton equations


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Is there an easy way to figure out how to solve them?



Firstly you don't 'solve' chemical equations, you balance them.

This is because a chemical equation is not really an equation in the mathematical sense at all but a description of what happens in a chemical reaction or process.

For this reason modern chemists prefer to employ an arrow not an equation sign.


You would not write reactants = products would you?


Far better to write


Reactants [math] \mapsto [/math] Products.


Secondly in my opinion it is far better to use proper balanced equations from the start and not get into bad habits that can lead to errors later.

Skeleton equations are not properly balanced.


For example


Mg + O2 [math] \mapsto [/math] MgO


is a skeleton equation


2Mg + O2 [math] \mapsto [/math] 2MgO


is the properly balanced equation.


Does this help?

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