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Question Video: Determining the Best Representation of a Decomposition Reaction Chemistry • 7th Grade

Large molecules are represented as a combination of two colored spheres. The smaller molecules are represented as single free-standing spheres. Which of the following figures is the most accurate representation of a decomposition reaction? [A] Figure A [B] Figure B [C] Figure C [D] Figure D [E] Figure E

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Video Transcript

Large molecules are represented as a combination of two colored spheres. The smaller molecules are represented as single free-standing spheres. Which of the following figures is the most accurate representation of a decomposition reaction?

To answer this question, we must understand what occurs in a decomposition reaction. A decomposition reaction is a type of reaction where a substance breaks down into two or more other substances. In the figures given, large molecules are represented by at least two spheres bonded together, where smaller molecules are represented by single spheres.

So in answer choice (A), two large molecules react with one another and form two new large molecules. Answer choice (A) is not the correct answer, as it does not show one substance breaking down but instead represents a double displacement reaction.

Answer choice (B) shows two large molecules combining to form an even larger molecule. Answer choice (B) is not the correct answer, as it does not show two or more substances being formed but instead shows a synthesis or sometimes called a combination reaction.

Answer choice (C) shows one large molecule being broken apart into two smaller molecules, which fits the description of a decomposition reaction. Let’s rule out answer choices (D) and (E) just to be sure.

Answer choice (D) shows two small molecules combining to form one large molecule. This is another representation of a synthesis reaction, so we can eliminate answer choice (D).

Answer choice (E) represents one large and one small molecule reacting to form different large and small molecules. Answer choice (E) represents a single displacement reaction and thus is not the correct answer.

Therefore, the figure that is the most accurate representation of a decomposition reaction is answer choice (C).

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