Conservation of Mass

Conservation of Mass

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Credit: Charles D. Winters/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Conservation of mass. The law of conservation of mass states that for any system closed to all transfers of matter and energy (both of which have mass), the mass of the system must remain constant over time, as system mass cannot change quantity if it is not added or removed. Hence, the quantity of mass is conserved over time. The law implies (requires) that during any chemical reaction, nuclear reaction, or radioactive decay in an isolated system, the total mass of the reactants or starting materials must be equal to the mass of the products.

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