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Law of Indestructibility of Matter

Last updated date: 19th May 2024
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Introduction to Law of Indestructibility of Matter

Scientists started looking at how and why chemicals react as they developed more exact theories about elements, compounds, and mixtures.

Law of Indestructibility of Matter

Law of Indestructibility of Matter

A. Lavoisier, a French chemist, provided the groundwork for the scientific study of matter when he stated that substances respond according to specific rules. The laws of chemical combination are what are known as these laws. Later, Dalton's Atomic Theory of Matter was built around these principles.

History of The Scientist
Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier (1743–1794),

Antoine-Laurent De Lavoisier (1743–1794)

Name: Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier

Born: 26 August 1743

Died: 8 May 1794

Field: Biologist, Chemist

Nationality: French

What is the Law of Conservation of Mass?

According to the rule of conservation of mass, no new mass will be formed during a chemical reaction in an entirely closed system. Furthermore, regardless of the kind of chemical reaction that takes place, the law of conservation of mass dictates that mass is preserved from reactants to products. The law of conservation of mass is simply defined as what goes in should come out.

Law of Conservation of Mass Examples

Chemical Reaction Taking Place

Chemical Reaction Taking Place

  • Following are some examples of conservation in a straightforward combination reaction involving the chemical combination of two substances: 200g A plus 100g B. The mass on the left side of the arrow will always equal the mass on the right side of the arrow in a closed system where none of the reactants is lost during the reaction.

  • In a double-replacement reaction, for instance, the components of the reactants have changed positions and are now AB + CD → AC + BD. In a wholly enclosed system, if 150g AB and 250g CD are chemically reacted, the combined masses of the products AC and BD will be 400g.

Limitations of Law of Indestructibility of Matter

  • According to the definition of the rule of conservation of mass, any physical or chemical change must result in an equal balance of reactant and product masses. However, some of the mass in a nuclear reaction is transformed into energy, leading to an imbalance in the mass of the reactants and products. The overall mass is not conserved as a result. This is the mass conservation principle's constraint.

  • According to Einstein's theory, the other restriction on mass conservation is that energy and mass can be converted into one another. As a result, both the system's mass and energy must be conserved for the law of conservation of mass to be true.

Applications of Law of Indestructibility of Matter

The ability to forecast a system's macroscopic behaviour without having to think about the microscopic specifics of how a physical process or chemical reaction would unfold is a key function of conservation laws.

Solved Examples

1. Why is the conservation of mass believed to be a part of the conservation of energy?

Ans: It has been found that in nuclear reactions, the mass of the reactants is greater than the mass of the products. The mass defect, also known as the difference in mass, is said to be transformed into energy via Einstein's equation. We should call it the law of conservation of mass and energy as a result.

2. Carbon dioxide and calcium oxide are both produced in equal amounts by 10 g of calcium carbonate. Explain this reaction using the mass conservation law.

Ans: Following the law of conservation of mass:

Reactant mass = Product mass.

10 g of Calcium carbonate = 6.2 g of Calcium oxide + 3.8 g of Carbon-dioxide.

10 g of reactant = 10 g of products

Thus, it is demonstrated that the above reaction adheres to the law of conservation of mass.

3. 36 grams of water are created when 4 grams of hydrogen and some oxygen combine. Determine the amount of oxygen that must have been consumed using the law of conservation of mass.

Ans: Mass given for each compound is as follows:

Hydrogen = 4g

Oxygen = x g

Water = 36 g

Following the Law of conservation of Mass:

Mass of reactants = Mass of products

4 g + x g = 36 g

x g = 36 g – 4 g

x = 32 g

Therefore, 32 g of oxygen was used.

Important Points to Remember

As long as there is no energy loss during a chemical reaction, the law of conservation of mass applies. As long as the frame of reference is inertial, the law of conservation of mass applies in terms of physics. This is because we are unable to characterize all energies in a non-inertial frame.


According to the rule of conservation, the mass of the products is dependent on the mass of the reactants. Based on the mass of the reactants utilized in the reaction, the law of conservation of mass is used to forecast the mass of the products that will be produced.

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FAQs on Law of Indestructibility of Matter

1. Why do chemical change processes conserve mass?

Chemical reactions do not store mass. The conservation of mass and energy is the fundamental conservation law of the universe. This means that in a closed system, the total mass and energy before a reaction equals the total mass and energy following the reaction. The famous Einstein equation states that both mass and energy can be changed into one another. This occurs every time there is a reaction. Therefore it is not some strange procedure. Because a small amount of mass and a small amount of energy are converted in each reaction, mass cannot be preserved. However, energy and mass are always conserved. It is impossible to make energy from nothing.

2. Considering that energy cannot be generated or destroyed, what is its ultimate source?

The Big Bang is the primary energy source in the universe as it exists now. All energy existed at the beginning of time, and as the cosmos grew, this energy gave rise to a variety of stages of particle matter. The energy was disseminated by the time of the Modern Universe as mass, kinetic energy, chemical energy in the form of lumps of matter, or radiant energy. The masses are categorized using the galaxies and stars within them. One of those stars is the sun, which got its energy from the Big Bang.

3. The law of conservation of mass is broken during nuclear fusion processes. Describe the assertion.

The total mass of the products and reactants are equal during all physical or chemical transformations, according to the law of conservation of mass. However, during the nuclear fusion reactions, the energy that the sun emits in its core is caused due to the hydrogen nuclei colliding and forming helium nuclei. Here, the law of conservation of mass is broken because some of the mass is transformed into energy. In this case, the law of conservation of mass is broken.