-3
$\begingroup$

I found that reaction: HNO3 + 4.1633363423443E-17 H3O = NO2{+} + OH{-} Please help me understand " 4.1633363423443E-17" term.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ The title actually should be "What does XXXX E YY formula mean?" which would quickly leave this question off-topic. $\endgroup$ – Tomáš Zato - Reinstate Monica Sep 1 '14 at 13:42
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Could you provide the reference where you saw this? $\endgroup$ – LDC3 Sep 1 '14 at 14:23
  • $\begingroup$ That come from webqc.org/balance.php when I tried to ballance the hypotetical reaction HNO3+H3O=NO2{+}+OH{-} $\endgroup$ – user7654 Sep 3 '14 at 1:55
7
$\begingroup$

It seems to me like you were asked to balance a chemical equation and you used some computer program to do it for you instead.

4.1633363423443E-17 is the result of the limitations of floating point arithmetic (ie that computers only have finite precision). The real answer should be 0 (which you could have figure out by balancing it yourself).

$\endgroup$

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.