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# Law of Conservation of Mass

The Law of Conservation of Mass states that the total mass in a closed system remains constant.

• Law of Conservation of Mass
• Formula for Law of Conservation of Mass
• FAQs

## Law of Conservation of Mass

The law of conservation of mass means that the mass of the products of a chemical reaction or physical process will always be equal to the mass of the reactants.

For example, if you burn a piece of wood, the mass of the ash, smoke, and gases produced will be equal to the mass of the wood that was burned. Even though the wood is destroyed, the mass is still there, just in a different form. Another example is when a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen gases are combined to make water, the mass of the water formed will be equal to the total mass of the hydrogen and oxygen gases.

In simple terms, the law of conservation of mass states that the total amount of mass in a closed system remains constant and it can be converted from one form to another but cannot be created or destroyed.

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## Formula for Law of Conservation of Mass

The formula for the law of conservation of mass is:

mass of reactants = mass of products

This formula can be expressed mathematically as:

m_reactants = m_products

Where m represents the mass of the reactants or products.

For example, if you have 100 grams of hydrogen gas (H2) and 200 grams of oxygen gas (O2) that react to form water (H2O), the mass of the reactants and products can be calculated as follows:

mass of reactants (H2 + O2) = 100 grams + 200 grams = 300 grams
mass of products (H2O) = 300 grams

As you can see, the mass of the reactants (hydrogen and oxygen gas) is equal to the mass of the product (water), which confirms that the law of conservation of mass holds true.

Another example, if you have 20 grams of magnesium metal (Mg) and 40 grams of oxygen gas (O2) that react to form magnesium oxide (MgO), we can calculate the mass of the reactants and products as follows:

mass of reactants (Mg + O2) = 20 grams + 40 grams = 60 grams
mass of products (MgO) = 60 grams

As you can see, the mass of the reactants (magnesium metal and oxygen gas) is equal to the mass of the product (magnesium oxide), which confirms that the law of conservation of mass holds true.

## Law of Conservation of Mass FAQS

##### What is the law of conservation of mass?

The law of conservation of mass states that the total mass in a closed system remains constant, meaning that the mass of the products of a chemical reaction or physical process will always be equal to the mass of the reactants.

##### How is the law of conservation of mass related to the law of conservation of energy?

The law of conservation of mass is related to the law of conservation of energy in that both principles state that certain quantities (mass and energy, respectively) cannot be created or destroyed, only transferred or converted from one form to another.

##### Can mass be lost in a system?

Mass cannot be lost in a closed system, but it can be converted from one form to another. For example, in a chemical reaction, the mass of the reactants will be equal to the mass of the products.

##### What are some examples of mass conservation in everyday life?

Examples of mass conservation in everyday life include baking a cake (the mass of the ingredients is equal to the mass of the final product), burning wood in a fireplace (the mass of the wood is equal to the mass of the ash and gases produced), and the burning of fossil fuels (the mass of the fuel is equal to the mass of the ash and gases produced).

##### How does the law of conservation of mass apply to living things?

The law of conservation of mass applies to living things in the sense that the mass they consume must come from somewhere. For example, plants take in carbon dioxide and water, which they use to make carbohydrates and oxygen through photosynthesis. The mass of the carbohydrates and oxygen is equal to the mass of the carbon dioxide and water consumed. Kathleen Currence is one of the founders of eTutorWorld. Previously a middle school principal in Kansas City School District, she has an MA in Education from the University of Dayton, Ohio. She is a prolific writer, and likes to explain Science topics in student-friendly language. LinkedIn Profile

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