Saturday, January 14, 2012

Law of Conservation of Mass

This week we are working on chemistry, and learned about balancing equations and the law of Conservation of Mass.  Matter can't be created nor destroyed, yet how is it that when we burn something, it seems as if we are destroying matter? A few demonstrations and exploring the chemical equations that describe them showed us that we are not creating nor destroying matter, just rearranging atoms.  And this law is important for us to know and realize, as it helps explain some of our biggest environmental problems!

Did you know that when you burn a tank of liquid gasoline, it doesn't just disappear, but gets converted into a lot of gasses (thats what comes out the exhaust pipe).  By burning all sorts of fossil fuels (coal, gasoline, etc.), we are taking carbon that was locked in liquid or solid form deep in the earth, and converting it into gas that is trapped in our atmosphere, which has been causing global climate change.   These practices are having some bad consequences on all sorts of life on our planet, including turtles and on us!

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