This is the first of two videos about balancing chemical equations. This video shows the inspection method, or "trial-and-error" method. Be sure you carefully count how many of each kind of atom are on each side. The number of hydrogen atoms on the left must equal the number of hydrogen atoms on the right. Same goes for all the atoms! We also explain *why* it's so important to balance chemical equations - if you don't, you violate the laws of the universe!
When you start balancing chemical equations, you usually start with the “inspection method” which is a sort of “trial and error” method. You must carefully count how many of each kind of atom are on each side of the chemical equation, because matter cannot be created or destroyed during the course of the reaction.
As you get more familiar with this idea, you may want to graduate to the “algebraic” method of balancing chemical equations. In these two videos, we take you through the same five examples, solving them using these two methods.
Video 1: Introduction to Balancing Chemical Equations
Video 2: Balancing Chemical Equations with Algebra
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