Today we introduced a chemistry topic that we’ve been hinting at all along: The Law of Conservation of Mass. The law basically says “No matter can ever be created or destroyed” and it flew in the face of conventional wisdom that predated modern science. Today we use it to explain everything from rain to boiling water to fire. And the bottom line is you can’t create or destroy an atom; they can only be rearranged. Even more modern topics like nuclear weapons or e=mc2 don’t necessarily break the law.
After discussing all of this with my students, we completed a quick lab activity (posted below) and post-lab assignment. The lesson? You can’t break this law, no matter how hard you try.