Hydrofluoric Acid: A Weak Acid – Yet It Dissolves Glass?

On the far right side of the Periodic Table of the Elements is listed the halogens, which include fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine, and astatine. In order of ascending atomic weight we have: fluorine and chlorine gases, bromine liquid, and iodine and astatine solids. Each exhibits a –1 valence. Each attaches to a single atom of hydrogen to form an anhydrous acid. Most of these acids are considered very strong with the exception of hydrofluoric acid. It is comparably a relatively weak acid. This is the case, even though hydrofluoric is the only acid stored in polyethylene bottles because it dissolves glass. Since it can eat its way through glass, how can hydrofluoric acid be considered a weak acid? Hydrofluoric Acid Attacks Glass While hydrofluoric acid is usually written HF, for…
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Electronegativity of Atoms: What are Determining Factors

Chemistry, Physics
[caption id="attachment_24637" align="alignright" width="480"] 5d molecular orbital - Image Dhatfield[/caption] When two different types of atom are bonded together, they do not share their bond electrons equally. This is because each type of atom possesses its own charge environment, which results in an atom’s electronegativity. Electronegativity is the measure of an atom’s ability to attract additional electron density to itself. For example, Sodium seeks to give an electron to become a positive ion, Na+. It has a very low electronegativity. Iodine wants to gain an electron to become a negative ion, I-. It has a relatively high electronegativity. Charge Environment Atoms vary in electronegativity, and bonds vary according to constituent atom electronegativities. The electronegativity of an atom depends upon its charge environment. That environment depends primarily on three things... Distance…
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