ElectrolytesSummary - Electrolytes Ions and Molecules in...

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Metals Ionic cpds Molecular cpds Solid Yes No No Liquid Yes Yes No Electrical Conductivity Electrolytes Ions and Molecules in Aqueous Solution Electrical Conductivities of Pure Substances The ability of any substance to conduct electricity often provides great insight into its chemical and physical character. Since electric current involves the flow of electrical charge, a conducting substance must provide a source of mobile, charged particles. The excellent conductivity of the metals, for example, involves the movement of the loosely held valence electrons of the metal atoms through the solid crystal lattice of the metal. In this case, there is no need for the atoms themselves to move. Ionic compounds are usually recognized by inspection of their chemical formulas which are likely to contain both metals and nonmetals , e.g. , KCl and Mg(NO 3 ) 2 . Ionic solids consist of a highly ordered crystal lattice of positively and negatively charged ions, but these charged particles are locked into their positions within the crystal and are unable to transport charge. Ionic compounds do become conductors, however, in the molten or liquid state since the ions are now free to migrate. Molecular compounds generally have chemical formulas that contain only nonmetals , e.g. , H 2 S and C 6 H 12 O 6 . Molecular solids consist of discrete molecules which have no overall charge; that is, the molecules are neutral and cannot transfer charge even if they become mobile in the liquid state. If one were to investigate a series of solids by measuring their relative conductivities in both the solid and molten states, it may be possible to classify each into one of three broad categories: metals, ionic compounds, and molecular solids. Solution Electrolytes Solution electrolytes are compounds which dissolve or react in water to produce mobile ions in solution , and these solutions, therefore, conduct electricity . Many ionic compounds and some molecular compounds are capable of being solution electrolytes. The electrolytic behavior of five representative compounds (CaBr
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This note was uploaded on 11/16/2011 for the course CHM 2045 taught by Professor Mitchell during the Fall '07 term at University of Florida.

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ElectrolytesSummary - Electrolytes Ions and Molecules in...

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