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What is law of conservation of mass?

The Law of conservation of mass is a law in chemistry formulated by Antoine Lavoisier back in 1789. This law basically states that the mass of matter or objects are conserved or does not change even if it undergoes change or chemical reaction. The mass of an object remains constant despite going through a chemical reaction for example. This particular object or substance may have been mixed with other substances or converted into another form but its mass is said to be conserved or remains the same. This particular law in chemistry is considered very important as it eventually became the basis of many principles and laws in this particular subject.

In terms of the naturally-occurring objects or particles in the real world, the Law of conservation of mass may be applied in the sense that all these particles remain stable and unchanged over several centuries and decades. It is said that the atoms and molecules of many substances and pieces of matter in present times have the same mass as in the past. These particles may have been transformed into another form of object depending on the conditions and energy they were exposed to but the law of conversation of mass still holds true.  In the case of carbon for example which may have been buried for hundreds or millions of years as coal. This coal may then have been extracted by power industries in the present. The original carbon component of coal has now been transformed to a power source which can reach the atmosphere and the ocean to be dissolved again but still has the same mass.

In modern chemistry, Antoine Lavoisier’s law of conservation of mass is still considered true in most cases especially if all factors involved remain constant including the environmental conditions and presence of energy. In areas like special relativity for example, the idea of having the same rest masses for a system of particles cannot simply be applied because of the energy aspect which can affect the result of the particle change.

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Posted by on Nov 4th, 2014 and filed under Chemistry, Science. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.