is created by David Witten, a mathematics and computer science student at Vanderbilt University. For more information, see the "About" page.

Three Laws

Law of Conservation of Mass

"The total mass of substances present before a chemical reaction is the same as the total mass of substances after a reaction."

So, matter is never created or destroyed.

Law of Constant Composition

"All samples of a compound have the same composition — the same proportions by mass of the constituent elements." 

So, given a compound, there is a uniform ratio of masses within. For example, in water, there's always an 8 to 1 ratio of mass of oxygen to hydrogen.

Law of Multiple Proportions

"If two elements form more than a single compound, the masses of one element combined with a fixed mass of the second are in the ratio of small whole numbers."

So given a fixed mass, of say 1 g of carbon, and that's combined with 1.333 g of oxygen, and in another compound, 2.667 g of oxygen, the ration between them is 2 : 1. So, they can be expressed as two small whole numbers.

David Witten

Chapter 4 Notes

Chapter 3 Notes