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Balancing a chemical equation and calculating the reactant quantity based on the reaction stoichiometry.

Balance the following equation:

Cu(s)+ AgNO3(aq) = Ag(s) + Cu(NO3)2(aq)

("s" and "aq" in parantheses refers to the phase of the reactants and products, i.e. solid and aqueous, respectively.)

What is the amount of Cu (in grams) necessary to precipitate 0.50 g of Ag in the presence of excess AgNO3?

Solution Preview

First, we have to balance the chemical equation, which can be done in two ways.

(1) Just by looking at the two sides of the equation, we see, that there are two NO3- ions on the product (right) side, thus we will need two molecules of AgNO3 on the reactant side.

(2) By using the oxidation numbers for the elements, we see that ...