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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 23 (2018) pp 231-236

Similarity Between Chemistry and Mathematics in Reasoning

Ying Liu, Michael G. B. Drew, Yue Liu†,*

College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shenyang Normal University, Shenyang, P. R. China,110034,; School of Chemistry, The University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading RG6 6AD, UK
Received April 30, 2018. Accepted September 19, 2018.

Published: 30 October 2018

Abstract. The reaction between KAl(SO4)2 and Ba(OH)2 is primitive but behaves differently under varying conditions, such as initial mole ratio of the reactants, thus is complex pedagogically. The real nature within the chemistry of the reaction is illustrated by the simple method of stoichiometry which is easily understood. Just like a complicated problem in mathematics can be simplified by breaking it down with simpler axioms and theorems, and the same result can be obtained logically from ostensibly different phenomena and from completely different approaches, it is demonstrated in this work that a complex reaction in chemistry can also be boiled down into a set of fundamental reactions and then be reassembled at different conditions to get the different final results, and that the same result can be obtained from different approaches. A number of other facts within chemistry have been used to show common features between chemistry and mathematics.

Key Words: In the Classroom; general chemistry

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (278 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

Appendix 1 and Appendix 2, two different results, reactions (18) and (19) are available in one PDF file. (81 KB)

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