I have been studying the principle of atomic conservation, but have not understood why it even exists. For example:

What mass of $\ce{O2}$ is produced by 1.23 g of $\ce{KClO3}$?

Couldn't this question be solved very easily by just balancing it, and the using no. of moles to find the mass of $\ce{O2}$ produced?

Am I missing something here?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ The principle of atomic conservation just basically says that chemical reactions don't create or destroy atoms. So the gist is that you must have the same number and type of atoms on both sides of the chemical reaction. // Nuclear reactions can create or destroy atoms, but not chemical reactions. $\endgroup$
    – MaxW
    Mar 25, 2019 at 5:28
  • $\begingroup$ There are generally many ways to solve any problem... you could balance the reactions or you could use POAC. Quite often, POAC turns out to be really useful for quicker calculations, since you can focus on only one element and don't have to bother about the others, especially if all of that element ends up in only one product. $\endgroup$ Mar 25, 2019 at 11:16
  • $\begingroup$ @MaxW I think I understood, thank you for your help :) $\endgroup$
    – JakePaul
    Mar 26, 2019 at 5:07


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