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Numbers, Symbols and Conventions used in chemistry. Dr. Chin Chu River Dell Regional High School. Chemical formulas and equations. 3H 2 O. OH -1. CO 2. O 2 (g). What do those numbers and sy mbols mean?. The conventions. 2. NAME. 1. 3 . (4). Coefficients

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numbers symbols and conventions used in chemistry

Numbers, Symbols and Conventions used in chemistry

Dr. Chin Chu

River Dell Regional High School

chemical formulas and equations
Chemical formulas and equations

3H2O

OH-1

CO2

O2(g)

What do those numbers and symbols mean?

the conventions
The conventions

2.

NAME

1.

3.

(4)

Coefficients

Charge number / oxidation state

Subscripts

Subscripts in ( ) – state of matter

coefficients
Coefficients

NAME

1.

Coefficient is a whole number that specifies the number of entities in totality immediately following it.

By convention, 1 is usually not written explicitly.

3 x 2 = 6 H

Examples:

3H2O

3 x 1 = 3 O

5 x 2 = 10 Fe

5Fe2(SO4)3

5 x 3 x 1 = 15 S

5 x 3 x 4 = 60 O

superscripts charge oxidation state
Superscripts (charge #/oxidation state)

2.

NAME

Charge number/oxidation state specifies the charge on the ion.

By convention, charge numbers/oxidation states are not included in writing the compound formulas.

Examples:

Ca2+

calcium cation, monoatomic

+

sulfate anion, polyatomic

SO42-

CaSO4

calcium sulfate compound

subscripts
subscripts

NAME

Subscript specifies the number for the element (and that element only) immediately to the left.

By convention, subscript 1 is not explicitly written.

For polyatomic ions, subscript outside the () covers all elements within the ().

3.

The number 4 only specifies that there are 4 oxygen atoms in the sulfate polyatomic anion.

Examples:

SO42-

3 specifies there are three iron (II) cations in the compound.

4 specifies there are four oxygen atoms in each polyatomic phosphate ion.

2 specifies there are two complete phosphate ions in the compound.

Fe3(PO4)2

subscripts in state of matter
Subscripts in ( ) – state of matter

NAME

State of matter specifies the state of each compound is in.

Could be aqueous (aq), solid (s), liquid (l), gas (g) or precipitate (p).

(4)

Examples:

calcium cation in water

Ca2+(aq)

carbon dioxide gas

CO2(g)

barium sulfate precipitate

BaSO4(p)