posted by kelsy .
How do you balance this equation? does the dot before the 6 mean something
MgSO4˙6H2O = MgSO4 + H2O
The dot before the 6, which if we could write it right on these boards, would be in the middle of the line, means there are 6 molecules of water that crystallize with each 1 molecule of MgSO4. The equation you have written is simply a dehydration in which a hydrate is heated to drive off the water, making the anhydrous salt.
MgSO4.6H2O + heat ==> MgSO4 + 6H2O
Most salts crystallize with some water. Most of the time we don't show it when we write the equation.