Writing a Chemical Equation
Is there any other shorter way for representing chemical equations? Chemical equations can be made more concise and useful if we use chemical formulae instead of words. A chemical equation represents a chemical reaction. If you recall formulae of magnesium, oxygen and magnesium oxide, the above word-equation can be written as –
Mg + O2 → MgO (1.2)
Count and compare the number of atoms of each element on the LHS and RHS of the arrow. Is the number of atoms of each element the same on both the sides? If not, then the equation is unbalanced because the mass is not the same on both sides of the equation. Such a chemical equation is a skeletal chemical equation for a reaction. Equation (1.2) is a skeletal chemical equation for the burning of magnesium in air.