# What is a coefficient in a chemical equation?

Jul 2, 2016

In Chemistry the coefficient is the number in front of the formula.
The coefficient tells us how many molecules of a given formula are present.

#### Explanation:

Like Algebra the Coefficient is the number in front of the variable terms.

$4 {x}^{2} y$ The coefficient is $4$

In Chemistry the coefficient is the number in front of the formula.
The coefficient tells us how many molecules of a given formula are present.

$2 {H}_{2} O$ means we have $2$ molecules of water

In the balanced chemical equation for Ammonia

${N}_{2} + 3 {H}_{2} \to 2 N {H}_{3}$

We know we have coefficients of
$1$ for ${N}_{2}$
$3$ for ${H}_{2}$
and
$2$ for $N {H}_{3}$

It takes $1$ molecule of ${N}_{2}$ with $3$ molecules of ${H}_{2}$ to produce $2$ molecules of $N {H}_{3}$