4 Tutorials that teach Conservation of Mass
Take your pick:
Conservation of Mass
Next Generation: HS.PS1.7

Conservation of Mass

Author: Nathan Lampson

This lesson explains the law of conservation of mass within chemical reactions.

See More
Try a College Course Free

Sophia’s self-paced online courses are a great way to save time and money as you earn credits eligible for transfer to over 2,000 colleges and universities.*

Begin Free Trial
No credit card required

28 Sophia partners guarantee credit transfer.

264 Institutions have accepted or given pre-approval for credit transfer.

* The American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE Credit®) has evaluated and recommended college credit for 22 of Sophia’s online courses. More than 2,000 colleges and universities consider ACE CREDIT recommendations in determining the applicability to their course and degree programs.



During a chemical reaction, matter is not created or destroyed.  The basic understanding that all of the chemicals interacting in a chemical reaction are still present at the end is called the conservation of mass.


The principle of conservation of mass states that the total mass of the reactants at the beginning of a chemical interaction are equal to the total mass of the products.



It doesn't always seem like the matter in a chemical reaction is being conserved.  When wood is burned in a fire, much of the matter in the fire is able to escape into the environment.  If a dome was placed over a wood fire and it contained all of the gases and products of the fire, the mass of the wood before the fire and the products of the fire would have the same mass.