Which are Stronger? Covalent or Ionic Bonds?

Chemistry, Physics
Almost all the atoms found in nature, left alone to themselves, are stable structures. If they always remained such, there would be no need of chemists. Fortunately, when in close contact, atoms can react in a number of ways. Often they link to each other in various combinations through bonding, forming molecules called compounds. Such interaction requires explanation, and so provides employment to humans educated in this field: The field called chemistry. Chemical Bonds: Ionic and Covalent There are a variety of ways atoms bond to one another. Some bonds are weaker, and some are stronger. Two of the strongest forms of chemical bond are the ionic and the covalent bonds. Chemical bonds form between two atoms, each with its own electron environment. If each of the two atoms shares…
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Jargon: When to Use It and When Not to Use It

Education, People
[caption id="attachment_18089" align="alignright" width="420"] Huh?[/caption] Jargon is essential to many professions. Jargon consists of words and phrases that speed up communication when discussing complex or convoluted ideas. But the silver lining of jargon frequently enshrouds a gray cloud. An Example A chemist speaks to a lab technician about sodium cations. Now most of us know what a sodium atom is, but the word ‘cation’ doesn’t ring a bell. What is a cation? As the last three letters of its name suggest, a cation is an ion. Atoms are electrically neutral. That is, they do not have a net electrical charge. Although they contain positive protons and negative electrons, the total charges are equal. In effect, they cancel each other out. Add an additional electron or subtract one already present and…
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Aromatic Tropylium Ion

[caption id="attachment_20212" align="alignright" width="440"] Aromatic tropylium cation[/caption] Aromatics are separate category of organic compounds. Often aromatic compounds are electrically neutral. However, a few do carry a charge. They are ions.¹ In fact many aromatic ions would not be aromatic if they lost their charge. We will consider the aromatic tropylium cation in this article. Three Carbon Atoms The smallest aromatic ion is the cyclopropenyl cation. The neutral cyclopropene molecule possesses 4 π-electrons. That is not an aromatic number. By making it a cation, it loses 2 of them, meeting the qualification for aromatic compounds.¹ [caption id="attachment_16191" align="alignright" width="240"] Spacefill Model.[/caption] Four Carbon Atoms On the basis of π-electron count alone, one might suppose a cyclobutadienyl di-anion or a cyclobutadienyl di-cation, would display aromaticity. That is not the case. There are…
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