Chemistry: Stoichiometry


As you may have gathered from the previous section, I like to cook. My chili recipe is perfect for serving a group of 10 (or a group of 4, with lots and lots of leftovers). However, what would happen if instead of one pound of hamburger, I had only half a pound? What would become of the recipe then?

You're probably thinking to yourself, "What a bonehead! Just scale back the recipe so that the quantities of the other ingredients are also halved!" If that statement makes sense, you already understand everything that's contained in this section. Unfortunately, chemists like to use big fancy words when describing chemical reactions, so you'll still have to read the rest of the section. Throughout the course of this section, remember that you already understand this material—it's just a matter of translating what you already know into chemical terms.

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Chemistry © 2003 by Ian Guch. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

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