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Chapter 3 Chemical Reactions
Chapter 2 "Molecules, Ions, and Chemical Formulas" introduced you to a wide variety of chemical compounds, many of which have interesting applications. For example, nitrous oxide, a mild anesthetic, is also used as the propellant in cans of whipped cream, while copper(I) oxide is used as both a red glaze for ceramics and in antifouling bottom paints for boats. In addition to the physical properties of substances, chemists are also interested in their chemical reactionsA process in which a substance is converted to one or more other substances with different compositions and properties., processes in which a substance is converted to one or more other substances with different compositions and properties. Our very existence depends on chemical reactions, such as those between oxygen in the air we breathe and nutrient molecules in the foods we eat. Other reactions cook those foods, heat our homes, and provide the energy to run our cars. Many of the materials and pharmaceuticals that we take for granted today, such as silicon nitride for the sharp edge of cutting tools and antibiotics such as amoxicillin, were unknown only a few years ago. Their development required that chemists understand how substances combine in certain ratios and under specific conditions to produce a new substance with particular properties.
Sodium. The fourth most abundant alkali metal on Earth, sodium is a highly reactive element that is never found free in nature. When heated to 250°C, it bursts into flames if exposed to air.
We begin this chapter by describing the relationship between the mass of a sample of a substance and its composition. We then develop methods for determining the quantities of compounds produced or consumed in chemical reactions, and we describe some fundamental types of chemical reactions. By applying the concepts and skills introduced in this chapter, you will be able to explain what happens to the sugar in a candy bar you eat, what reaction occurs in a battery when you start your car, what may be causing the “ozone hole” over Antarctica, and how we might prevent the hole’s growth.