Chem 400 Chapter 2 Lecture Notes Part 1 Conservation of Mass and Other Laws • In the late 1600’s to 1700’s, the science of chemistry was emerging from alchemy. • Scientists like Robert Boyle were starting to make careful observations and conduct systematic experiments in order to understand chemical substances and their properties and reactions. • Although there were many breakthroughs, a major one was expounded by Antoine Lavoisier in 1789 (later guillotined in the French Revolution in 1794). Although he stated a little differently, it was the first statement of what is now called the Law of Conservation of Mass (and Matter): • This law has several implications: 1) Mass is conserved, so the mass of products equals mass of reactants. If you start with 5g, you end with 5 g. 2) Atoms are conserved, so you have the same numbers and types of elements at the beginning and end of a chemical rxn. If you start with 54 H atoms, you end with 54 H atoms. • And although it may seem obvious to us now, the
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