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What does the law of conservation of mass state?

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Quick Answer

The law of conservation of mass states matter can be changed from one form to another, but the total mass stays the same in an isolated system. If a group of items is mixed then the total mass is the same as the individual masses added together. Those items may change states, like liquid from a solid, but the mass of both states will be the same.

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Full Answer

Conservation of mass is seen most commonly in chemistry, mechanics and fluid dynamics. It has become a key component of chemistry, and the discovery of the law by Antoine Lavoisier was very important in the move from alchemy to the sciences we know and use in modern times.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the law of conservation of energy?

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    The law of conservation of energy states that in a closed system the total amount of energy is conserved and does not change. This means that energy may change from one form to another, but that the total amount of energy in the closed system remains constant.

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  • Q:

    What is an example of the law of conservation of mass?

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    An example of the law of conservation of mass is the combustion of a piece of paper to form ash, water vapor and carbon dioxide. In this process, the mass of the paper is not actually destroyed; instead, it is transformed into other forms. This best demonstrates the law that states matter cannot be created or destroyed. However, the form of matter can be changed.

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  • Q:

    How are mass and weight related to each other?

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    Mass and weight are closely related because mass affects the weight of an object experiencing the effects of gravity. Weight is the measure of the force of gravity on an object's mass, while mass is the measure of how much matter there is in an object.

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  • Q:

    What is the principle of conservation of mechanical energy?

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    The principle of the conservation of mechanical energy states that mechanical energy is constant as long as it is in an isolated system and subject only to conservative forces. Mechanical energy itself is the energy that is built up in an object due to the work done on it or due to the position of the object.

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