Guide for a Beginning Student

You are probably already familiar with a simple elimination method for solving sets of algebraic equations, such as is used in the implementation of MRM (the "Matrix Reduction Method", described in this tutorial). MRM will work for any problem in CRS (chemical reaaction stoichiometry) that you will encounter, including balancing redox reactions and situations involving reactions that can be "balanced in an infinite number of ways". We encourage you to learn to implement MRM by hand calculation, but for large systems it is conveniently implemented on a computer (such as by means of the Java applet on this site). MRM will free you from any drudgery associated with solving CRS problems, enabling you to devote more time to learning other concepts in chemistry.

We suggest that you follow these steps sequentially:

  1. Read the first 4 tutorial sections in sequence: Introduction, What is CRS?, Atom-balance to chemical equations, A Universal Method (MRM); and Section 5.1 (Implementation of MRM by Hand Calculation). Work through all the example problems by hand. This will help you to understand the method itself.
  2. Read Section 6, and work through the example problems using the Java applet.
  3. Do Exercises 1, 6, and 7.

It may be convenient to download the entire tutorial file (in Adobe .pdf format) and at your convenience, work through the steps that do not require use of the Java applet; then come back to the site to use the applet. An item part-way down the tutorial menu bar allows you to download this file. Also, be sure to read the page outlining the Technical Requirements for Using this Site.

To begin the tutorial, click on the icon.