Law of Conservation of Mass Simple Definition

Discover the importance of the law of conservation of mass in chemistry and physics. Learn how matter is preserved during chemical reactions and explore examples and case studies.

The Law of Conservation of Mass

The law of conservation of mass states that in a closed system, matter cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed from one form to another. This fundamental principle in chemistry and physics highlights the preservation of mass during chemical reactions.


For example, when a candle burns, the wax is converted into carbon dioxide and water vapor. Despite the change in form, the total mass of the products remains equal to the mass of the wax at the beginning. Similarly, in a compost pile, the decomposition of organic matter results in the formation of new compounds, but the overall mass remains constant.

Case Studies

In the 18th century, Antoine Lavoisier conducted experiments that led to the establishment of the law of conservation of mass. By carefully measuring the mass of reactants and products in various chemical reactions, he demonstrated that there was no net gain or loss of mass.


Studies have shown that the law of conservation of mass is applicable to all chemical reactions and processes, making it a fundamental principle in the field of chemistry. It forms the basis for understanding the stoichiometry of reactions and predicting the outcomes of chemical transformations.

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