What Are Coefficients in Chemistry?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Mar 25, 2020 2:27:11 AM ET
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Horia Varlan/CC-BY 2.0

Coefficients are the numbers placed before the reactants in a chemical equation so that the number of atoms in the products on the right side of the equation are equal to the number of atoms in the reactants on the left side. If a written chemical reaction were not balanced in this manner, there would be no information available regarding the relationship between the reactants and products. Also known as stoichiometric coefficients, these numerical values demonstrate that the number of atoms on either side of the equation are equal to each other.

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