# AP Chemistry 1.1 Rearrangement and Reorganization of Atoms

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AP® Chemistry: Rearrangement and Reorganization of Atoms Drill 1, Problem 1. Which of the following sets of coefficients correctly balances the below equation in the lowest whole number ratio?

AP Chemistry | Changes in Matter from Rearrangement, Reorganization, and Transfer of Electrons Rearrangement and Reorganization of Atoms |

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lowest whole number ratio?

And here are your potential answers...

So this question is asking us to find the lowest whole number ratio to balance the equation.

If we take a quick look at the answers first, we know C can't be the right answer because

2, 4, 2, and 4 can be reduced to 1, 2, 1, and 2 by dividing all the numbers by 2.

So we can immediately eliminate C.

Now, let's figure out what will make this equation work. Other than, you know... offering

it a possible raise.

Well, in chemistry, according to the law of conservation of mass, there needs to be the

same number of atoms of each element on both sides of the equation.

Which means we can treat the arrow like an equals sign.

For this equation, we know there needs to be the same number of Carbon, Oxygen, and

Hydrogen atoms on the right side of the arrow as there are on the left.

To do this, we can place coefficients in front of the formulas to try to get equal numbers.

Let's try A. If we had 1, 1, 1, and 1...we'd have 1 Carbon on both sides, 4 hydrogens on

the left and 2 on the right...ok, we can stop there. That doesn't work.

B... 1, 2, 1, and 2. 1 Carbon on both sides, 4 hydrogens on the left and 2 times 2 for

4 hydrogens on the right.

2 times 2 is 4 for 4 oxygens on the left...and 2 plus 2 for 4 oxygens on the right.

The coefficients in answer B give us the same number of atoms on the left and right... which

is going to save us a bit of busy work.

Looks like B's our answer.

Now for Damon's next big task: getting the honey for his tea directly from the source...