Why is it incorrect to balance a chemical equation by changing the subscripts?
The number of subscripts for each element in a chemical formula is like a form of spelling. Each chemical formula has its own unique set of elements and subscripts. For example,
Instead, you balance a chemical equation by changing the AMOUNT of each substance as necessary by placing a coefficient in front of the chemical formulas as necessary. If no coefficient is necessary, it is understood to be 1. The coefficient is multiplied times the subscripts for each element in the formula in order to determine the total number of atoms of each element on both sides of the equation.
So if I write the coefficient 2 in front of the formula for water,