Atomic Structure—What We Know Today.

Elements and Atoms
An atom is the smallest particle of an element that retains the chemical properties of that element, and an element is defined as a substance that can’t be broken down or separated into simpler substances through a chemical reaction. Elements contain just one type of atom, and each different element contains a different type of atom. Take the element sulfur (S). A pile of sulfur (a yellow, powdery or crystallized substance) sitting on a table represents a single element—sulfur—and this pile of sulfur is made up of only one type of atom—sulfur atoms.. Each atom, regardless of its identity, is made up of three types of subatomic particles.Protons, which are positively charged and situated at the center of the atom (also known as the atomic nucleus); neutrons, which are electrically neutral (meaning that they have no charge) and are also in the nucleus of the atom; and electrons, which are negatively charged and are situated outside the nucleus. The majority of the mass of an atom is contained in its nucleus: while electrons are about the same size as protons and neutrons, an electron has 1/837th the mass of protons or neutrons. You should also be aware that the nucleus of an atom is much, much smaller and more dense than the space occupied by an atom’s electrons—if an atom were the size of a football field, the nucleus would be the size of a flea on the 50-yard line. The number of protons an atom possesses is what gives the atom its identity—all atoms of a particular element have the same number of protons in their nuclei. For example, all of the sulfur atoms in the pile of sulfur we looked at above have 16 protons in their nucleus. If they had one more proton in their nucleus, they would have a different identity—they’d be chlorine (Cl) atoms, and with one less, they’d be phosphorus (P) atoms. Atoms of a given element can, however, differ in the number of neutrons they contain, and atoms of the same element that have different numbers of neutrons are known as isotopes. Most elements have at least two isotopes that occur naturally, although a few have just one. Now take a look at how atoms are usually symbolized: This represents a carbon atom that has 6 protons and 6 neutrons. In this notation, theatomic number (A), which is the number of protons the atom contains, is indicated by the subscript, and the mass number (Z ), which is the number of the atom’s protons plus the number of its neutrons, is indicated by the superscript. Some relatively common isotopes of carbon can contain 5, 7, or 8 neutrons, so although their atomic numbers would all be 6, their mass numbers, respectively, would be 11 (6 + 5), 13 (6 + 7), and 14 (6 + 8). Isotopes can also be written as carbon-14, carbon-15, carbon-16, etc., or C-14, C-15, C-16, where the number represents the mass number of the atom. The last thing you should know about the basic structure of an atom is that atoms have the same number of protons and electrons, and since protons are positively charged and electrons are negatively charged, neutral atoms have no net electrical charge.

The atomic number of a certain element is 11, and its atomic mass number is 23. How many protons and neutrons does this atom have, and what is its chemical symbol?

If the atomic number is 11, this element is sodium and its symbol is Na. If the atomic mass number is 23, the number of neutrons is equal to 23 - 11 = 12.

Atoms and the Periodic Table
The day of the SAT II Chemistry exam, you will be given a periodic table to use while answering the questions. However, this periodic table will most likely be much simpler than the ones you use in class or have seen in your chemistry text. It will give you only two pieces of information for each element: the element’s atomic number and the element’s atomic weight, which is written below the element’s symbol in each box. The atomic weight of an element represents its average atomic mass based on the relative abundance of various

Explanation Explanation Remember. thus increasing the atomic number by 1. In beta emission. Nuclear Reactions All of the processes discussed in this section are examples of nuclear reactions. The missing term is Se. So. The first concept we discuss is radioactivity. radioactivity is the spontaneous disintegration of an unstable atomic nucleus and the subsequent emission of radiation. which is composed of only protons and neutrons. eject an electron? A neutron is composed of a proton and an electron fused together. the electron is emitted from the nucleus. We are looking for a component that has mass number of 80 and an atomic number of 34 (34 protons). Ordinary chemical reactions involve the exchange and sharing of electrons.0107? 12. But what makes atoms radioactive to begin with. we mean that the average weights of all of the isotopes of carbon that exist in nature. Alpha decay occurs when the nucleus emits an alpha particle. They’re equivalent to high-speed electrons and are symbolized by or . and so they are symbolized as . Radioactivity You will need to be familiar with several types of nuclear reactions and terms related to them to be fully prepared for the SAT II Chemistry test. or the isotopes would be a lot bigger than they are. Protons and neutrons in excess of this stable number can be emitted radioactively.isotopes of that element in nature. or atomic mass unit. while nuclear reactions involve alterations in the very core of an atom. Example Complete the balanced equation by determining the missing term. The equation below shows uranium-234 undergoing alpha decay: Beta decay occurs when the nucleus emits a beta particle. while the proton part remains behind. and in this section we’ll review everything you’ll need to know.0107 what? Certainly not grams. Atomic weights have the unit amu. which are different from ordinary chemical reactions. How does a nucleus. Using this information and the periodic table. -12. this ratio is 1 proton to 1 neutron. for example. The equation below represents uranium-233 undergoing beta decay. This type of radioactivity results in a decrease in the atomic number by 2 and a decrease in the atomic mass by 4. Beta particles have a negative charge and are much smaller than alpha particles. Below we have listed examples of the important types of radioactive decay. and one atomic mass unit is equal to 1. or selenium. when we say that the atomic weight of carbon is 12. and what makes them undergo radioactive decay? It turns out that there is a stable ratio of protons to neutrons for each element. This type of radioactivity causes an increase in the atomic number by 1 but no change in mass number.0107. -13. that dense nucleus made up of protons and neutrons. But what does it mean to say that the isotopes “weigh” 12.66054 10-24 g. or -14. the sum of the atomic numbers and the mass numbers must be equal on both sides of the equation. whether the carbon is carbon-11. Alpha particles are the largest radioactive particle emitted. is 12. for the first 20 elements on the periodic table (hydrogen through calcium). Strictly speaking. Alpha particles have a positive charge and are equivalent in size to a helium nucleus. And the completed equation is: .0107. we can identity the element produced by this beta decay as Se.

neither protons nor neutrons are either created or destroyed: this is due to what’s known as the law of conservation of matter. a heavy nucleus is split into two nuclei with smaller mass numbers. more stable nucleus.Gamma decay consists of the emission of pure electromagnetic energy. For example. no particles are emitted during this process. Fission and Fusion There are two main types of nuclear reactions: fusion and fission. For example. which states that mass is neither created nor destroyed. vast quantities of energy are released. if the new particles contain more stable nuclei. which is the same size and mass as an electron but has a positive charge. The three neutrons formed can collide with other U-235 atoms. U-235 nuclides can be bomba uclear power plants rely on fission to create vast quantities of energy. three neutrons. The atomic number of the resulting atom is 86.00g. two light nuclei are combined to form a heavier. the positron is emitted and the neutron remains behind in the nucleus. which allows it to relax to its lower-energy ground state. Often the emission of an alpha or a beta particle creates another radioactive species. and at this point it will often emit gamma rays. which undergoes further radiation/emission in a cascade called a radioactive series. and it is symbolized by equation. The sulfur-35 atom has an atomic number of 16 and a mass number of 35. so the atom is chlorine-35. the nucleus is left in a high-energy state. one of the most important things to remember is that the sum of the mass numbers and the sum of the atomic numbers must both be equal on both sides of the equation. This process converts a proton into a neutron. Since gamma rays do not affect charge or mass. The atomic number of the atom created is 17. and two stable nuclei (Kr-92 and Ba-141). So when you see radioactivity equations on the SAT II Chemistry test. xample Is the following process an example of fission or fusion? Explanation . decreasing the atomic number by 1. Positron emission occurs when an atom becomes more stable by emitting apositron 01e. the atomic number is increased by 1 and the mass number remains the same. Nuclear power plants rely on fission to create vast quantities of energy. In fusionreactions. In either case. and the result is lots of energy. When an alpha particle is emitted. Example Write the equation for the alpha decay of radium-221. Infission reactions. setting off a chain reaction and releasing tons of energy. Explanation The radium-221 atom has atomic number (A) = 88 and mass number (Z) = 221. Notice that in the course of all of these types of radioactive decay. positron. or alpha decay. Both processes involve the exchange of huge amounts of energy: about a million times more energy than that associated with ordinary chemical reactions.Write the equation for the beta decay of sulfur-35. U-235 nuclides can be bombarded with neutrons. the atomic number is reduced by 2 and the mass number is reduced by 4. they are often not included in nuclear equations. so the element created as a result of this radioactive decay is radon-217. When it undergoes beta decay. After beta.

For example. To describe the location of electrons. instead of traveling in defined orbits or hard. after 15 days 50 g of the substance will remain. the quantum numbers n. An electron occupying the first energy level was thought to be closer to the nucleus and have lower energy than one that was in a numerically higher energy level. 12. After 30 days. spherical “shells. Orbitals and Quantum Numbers In the 1920s. at any one time. Below are the four quantum numbers. Half-Lives In discussions of radioactivity. the lowest energy state available for an electron is the ground state. and ml describe the position of the electron with respect to the nucleus. and a chain reaction process begins. and its special orientation.” the image below is what we picture in our minds. He referred to these orbits as “shells” or “energy levels” and designated each by an integer: 1. As n increases. In the Bohr model.8 g remains. and all higher-energy states are excited states. it is impossible to calculate both the momentum and the location of an electron in an atom. The result is two smaller nuclei and additional neutrons. travel in diffuse clouds around the nucleus. At the end of the stated time period. determining that radiant energy is also quantized—he called the discrete energy packets photons. which the electrons orbit in defined spherical orbits. Example A radioactive substance has a half-life of 20 minutes. it is only possible to calculate the probability of finding an electron within a given space. If we start with 100 g of a radioactive substance whose half-life is 15 days. we use quantum numbers. 2. and so on.625 g 7. Fission occurs when a large nucleus is bombarded by a small particle. Two hours is 120 minutes. Principal quantum number (n) Has positive values of 1.8125 g The Quantum Mechanical Model of the Atom Energy Is Quantized After Max Planck determined that energy is released and absorbed by atoms in certain fixed amounts known as quanta. l. 3. showing how they are depicted and what aspects of electrons they describe. 500 g 250 g 125 g 62.5 g 31. 7. etc.” as Bohr proposed. When we say “orbital. Albert Einstein took his work a step further. such as a neutron. Einstein’s theory was that electromagnetic radiation (light. for example) has characteristics of both a wave and a stream of particles. 25 g will remain. the orbital becomes larger—this means that the electron has a higher energy . while the quantum number ms describes the direction of the electron’s spin within a given orbital. If we begin with a 500 g sample. This meant that electrons. In the Bohr model. the shape of the orbital. 2. dense nucleus. the half-life of an isotope refers to the time it takes for onehalf of the sample to decay. how much of the original sample remains after two hours? Explanation The easiest way to attack these questions is to start with the original amount of the sample. Werner Heisenberg put forth his uncertainty principle. Niels Bohr used what had recently been discovered about energy to propose his planetary model of the atom.25 g 15. 3.This is an example of fission. the neutrons and protons are contained in a small. then draw arrows representing each half-life. Quantum numbers are basically used to describe certain aspects of the locations of electrons. etc. The Bohr Model of the Atom In 1913. so that’s six halflives. Bohr theorized that energy in the form of photons must be absorbed in order for an electron to move from a lower energy level to a higher one. and after 45 days. and is emitted when an electron travels from a higher energy level to a lower one.5 g remains. which states that.

the rest are man-made. in the 2f subshell. they are in the same subshell. Here are some specific families you should know about. is used to make bright signs. they must be of opposite spin. one of the noble gases. Nonmetals lie to the right of the staircase and do not conduct electricity well because they do not have free electrons. This quantum number has values from -l through 0 to +l. but it is a nonmetal. The metals can be broken down into several groups. and 3. so orbitals that have n = 2 and l = 3 are said to be 2f orbitals. Metals are malleable. n. No more than two electrons can occupy any one two electrons in an atom can have the same set of four quantum numbers. pastes of these are used in batteries. Notice that hydrogen is placed with the metals because it has only one valence electron. Second quantum number or azimuthal quantum number (l ) Has values from 0 to n – 1. or basic. Halogens (7A)—Known as the “salt formers. you should keep in mind that according to the Pauli exclusion principle. within the three main groups (metals. p.level and is less tightly bound to the nucleus. if l = 1 = p. are part of the sameelectron shell. are part of the sameelectron shell. it is expressed as s. they must have opposite spins. but they don’t explode in water. 1.” they are used in modern lighting and always exist as diatomic molecules in their elemental form. these must be stored under oil because they react violently with water! They dissolve and create an alkaline. Determines the orientation of the orbital in space relative to the other orbitals in the atom. nonmetals. 2. Specifies the value for the spin and is either +1/2 or -1/2. and metalloids): Alkali metals (1A)—The most reactive metal family. orbitals that have n = 2 are said to be in the second shell. Transition metals (also called the transition elements) are known for their ability to refract light as a result of their unpaired electrons. Uranium is the last naturally occurring element. if the value of l is 0. n. The actinides and lanthanides are collectively called therare earth elements and are filling the f orbitals. All the elemental gases are included in the nonmetals. so these metals are often used in pigments. Finally. They also have several possible oxidation states. Ionic solutions of these metals are usually colored. and if the orbital does contain two electrons. ductile. This means no atomic orbital can contain more than two electrons. Magnetic quantum number (m l ) Spin quantum number (m s ) Orbitals that have the same principal quantum number. For example. and f. Noble gases (8A)—Known for their extremely slow reactivity. orbitals that have n = 2 are said to be in the second shell. This defines the shape of the orbital. which correspond to values for l of 0. they are in the same subshell. solution. hence their name. They oxidize (rust and tarnish) readily and form positive ions (cations). . When orbitals have the same n and l. d. these were once thought to never react. most of the elements on the periodic table are metals. They are rarely found in nature. In order for two electrons to occupy the same orbital. In other words. and l = 3 = f. in the 2f subshell. so orbitals that have n = 2 and l = 3 are said to be 2f orbitals. For example. They are excellent conductors of both heat and electricity. and the value of l is designated by the letters s. and have luster. Orbitals that have the same principal quantum number. Alkaline earth metals (2A)—These also are reactive metals. l = 2 = d. neon. When orbitals have the same n and l.

one of the two important things you’ll need to know about atomic radii for the SAT II Chemistry exam is that atomic radii decrease ( ) moving across a period from left to right. n. but this is not the case. Although removing the first electron from an atom requires energy. it takes less energy to remove a p electron than an selectron. the atom with more protons in its nucleus will hold its electrons more tightly and be smaller. and so on. The reason it becomes more difficult to remove additional electrons is that they’re closer to the nucleus and thus held more strongly by the positive charge of the protons. while f electrons are far from the nucleus and less tightly held. . Ionization energies differ significantly. or positive ion. and the nucleus pulls more strongly on the entire electron cloud. As you move down the table. If the two bonded atoms are of the same element. One more thing about atomic size. Example Which ion is larger. compared to oxide’s 8). acation. As you know. it’s time to talk about the ways we can use the periodic table to predict certain characteristics of elements. The second thing you’ll need to know is that atomic radii increase moving down a group or family. so the electrons are less tightly held by the nucleus. determines the size of the atom. This makes the atomic radius decrease in size. This is easier to understand if you refer to the Bohr model. In this case. F– or O2-? Explanation Since these two atoms are isoelectronic and in the same period. When we compare the neutral atomic radius to the cationic radius. As we move down a family. But why? It seems as though the more protons you add. the way atomic radius is measured is by calculating the distance between the two nuclei of atoms when they are involved in a chemical bond.Now that you’re familiar with the different groupings of the periodic table. even less energy to extract a d electron. As you might expect. The result is that the anion has a larger radius than the neutral atom. That said. you can divide the distance by 2 to get the atom’s radius. The first is thationization energy increases as we move across a period. Fluoride will be smaller since it has more protons (9. Remember that the principal quantum number. This means that the second IE is usually greater than the first. is formed. For instance. meaning that they have the same number of electrons. the nuclear attractive force decreases (and there is enhanced electron-electron repulsion). when an atom loses an electron. and the least energy to extract an felectron. this is because s electrons are held closer to the nucleus. depending on the shell from which the electron is taken. Atomic Radius Since in an atom there is no clear boundary beyond which the electron never strays. for negatively charged ions. we see that the cationic radius is smaller. The SAT II Chemistry test might ask you to compare the sizes of two atoms that areisoelectronic. As you increase the number of protons in the nucleus of the atom. the value of n increases as we add another shell. As you can probably guess. the third IE is greater than the second. The reason for this lies in the basic concept that opposite charges attract each other and like charges repel each other. Why? The protons in the nucleus hold the remaining electrons more strongly. you would then consider the number of protons the two atoms possess. the attractive force of the nucleus dissipates as the electrons spend more time farther from the nucleus. or anions. Ionization Energy (IE) The ionization energy of an atom is the energy required to remove an electron from the atom in the gas phase. You’ll need to remember two important facts about ionization energy for the test. the more space the atom should take up. you increase the effective nuclear charge of the atom (Zeff). the removal of each subsequent electron requires even more energy.

The reason for this. so make sure you study these closely: • • When electron pairing first occurs within an orbital. This means that it’s easier to add an electron to elements. Keep in mind that this phenomenon is only important as you move down the periodic table! Here are the values for the first ionization energies for some elements: There are some important exceptions to the above two ionization energy trends in the periodic table. and the greater the attraction between the atom and the electron added. this is because the higher Zeff increases the nuclear attraction for the incoming electron. electron-electron repulsions increase. Electronegativity . and this is energetically unfavorable. For the SAT II Chemistry test. thus the IE drops at this time. Remember that there is no clear trend for electron affinity as you go down a group on the periodic table—this fact could come up in a synthesis of knowledge question! Electronegativity Electronegativity is a measure of the attraction an atom has for electrons when it is involved in a chemical bond. Most often. energy is released as an electron is added to an atom. Since IE increases as we move across a period. the atom forms a negative ion. This is because the lower electron-nucleus attraction that’s seen as we go down a group is pretty evenly counterbalanced by a simultaneous lowering in electron-electron repulsion. you may have chosen Se. remember that electron affinity becomes more negative as we move across a period. the more negative the atom’s electron affinity. The increased distance between electrons and the nucleus and increased shielding by a full principal energy level means that it requires less energy to remove an electron. This drop is due to the fact that you are removing a p electron rather than an s electron. Ne. Why? Again. For example. There is also a drop in ionization energy from s2 to p1—also in spite of anincreasing Zeff. The p electrons are less tightly held because they do not penetrate the electron cloud toward the nucleus as well as an s electron does. since they are np4. Kr. the effective nuclear charge increases its pull on the electrons and it becomes more difficult to remove an electron. Ar. As. because if they were to accept another electron. The second thing you’ll need to remember is that ionization energy decreases as you move down a group or family. is that as the nucleus becomes more positive. or Se? Explanation The answer is arsenic. the farther to the right you travel on the periodic table. Elements that have high ionization energy and high electron affinity will also have high electronegativity since their nuclei strongly attract electrons. as is the case with periodic trends in atomic radii. Shielding occurs when the inner electrons in an atom shield the outer electrons from the full charge of the nucleus. Electron affinities do not change very much as you go down a group. Ca. Example Which of the following elements has the highest ionization energy: K. less energy is required to remove an electron from oxygen’s valence in spite of an increasing Zeff because oxygen’s p4 electron is the first to pair within the orbital. so that removing an electron takes less energy (it’s easier). Ga. there is a drop in IE in spite of increasing Zeff due to the increased electron-electron repulsion in the family that contains oxygen. Important exceptions to this rule are the noble gases: He. They have electron affinities that are positive (meaning very low). Electron Affinity An atom’s electron affinity is the amount of energy released when an electron is added to the atom in its gaseous state—when an electron is added to an atom. and Xe. that electron would have to go into a new. The repulsion created lowers the amount of energy required to remove either electron. higher-energy subshell. However. or As.

You know that ionization energies tend to decrease with increasing atomic number in a group. Make sure to memorize them! The VSPER Model—Determining Molecular Shape Total number of single bonds. and lone pairs on the central atom 2 Structural pair geometry Linear Shape 3 Trigonal planar 4 Tetrahedral 5 Trigonal bipyramidal . these trends should make sense. Here’s a summary of the trends we discussed in this section. By now.increases from left to right as we move across a period and decreases as we move down any group or family. double bonds. although there isn’t a significant change in electron affinity. when we discuss chemical bonding. so it makes sense that atoms’ attraction for electrons in a bond would also increase as their Zeff increased. We will discuss the concept of electronegativity further in the next section.

Draw the Lewis dot structure for the molecule and count the total number of single bonds.6 Octahedral The above table represents a single atom with all of the electrons that would be associated with it as a result of the bonds it forms with other atoms plus its lone electron pairs. Electron-Domain Geometry 2 Bonding Domains 2 Nonbonding Domains 0 Molecular Geometry Example 3 3 0 2 1 . 2. multiple bonds. However. 3. the shape of the actual molecule might be different from what you’d predict based on its structural pair geometry. Determine the structural pair geometry for the molecule by arranging the electron pairs so that the repulsions are minimized (based on the table). and unpaired electrons. Use the table above to determine the molecular geometry. since atoms in a molecule can never be considered alone. You use the structural pair geometry to determine the molecular geometry by following these steps: 1. The table below shows all of the commonly occurring molecular geometries that are found for molecules with four or fewer bonding domains around their central atom.

however.” which is also called V shaped: . For instance. atoms that have normal valence—meaning atoms that have no more than four structural electron pairs and obey the octet rule (and have no lone pairs)—are tetrahedral. which has three sigma bonds and a lone pair. is trigonal pyramidal: Water (H2O) has two lone pairs and its molecular geometry is “bent. look at methane. which is CH4: Ammonia (NH3).4 4 0 3 1 2 2 As you can see from the table.

lone pairs have more repulsive force than do shared electron pairs. the electronic geometry is octahedral. In both molecular arrangements. This is because d electrons are necessary to make possible bonding to a fifth or sixth atom. shared pairs are situated “top and bottom. Explanation First determine the number of valence electrons this molecule has: SeF4 has 6 + 4(7) = 34 valence electrons. there are two lone pairs and four shared pairs surrounding Xe. Example Draw the dot formula for SeF4 and determine the hybridization at Se.So as you can see. The top figure has a molecular geometry known as “seesaw. with 90˚ angles. known as square planar. The equatorial arrangement is more stable since the lone pairs are 180˚ apart and this minimizes their repulsion. In XeF4.” In the equatorial arrangement. and two possible arrangements exist: In the axial arrangement.” while the bottom figure has a molecular geometry that is more stable. shared pairs surround Xe. you may remember that we mentioned before that only elements with a principal energy level of 3 or higher can expand their valence and violate the octet rule. . and thus they force the shared pairs to squeeze more closely together. As a final note. which is equal to 17 pairs of electrons.

But molecules can be polar too. this polarity of water accounts for most of water’s unique physical properties. they are called dipoles. and when they are polar. you’ll have to be familiar with certain aspects of chemical reactions. focus on the number of binding “sites” or areas of concentrated electron density: Two areas of electron density: linear.Selenium is surrounded by four fluorines and a lone pair of electrons. The reaction rate is a measure of the . which translates into sp3d hybridization. planar molecule Three areas of electron density: trigonal planar molecule Four areas of electron density: tetrahedral molecule Five areas of electron density: trigonal bipyramidal molecule Six areas of electron density: octahedral molecule Molecular Polarity In chemical bonds. However. molecules can also contain polar bonds and not be polar. to recap. Dipoles are molecules that have a slightly positive charge on one end and a slightly negative charge on the other. Look at the water molecule. polarity refers to an uneven distribution of electron pairs between the two bonded atoms—in this case. Se is from the fourth period. That’s five sites of electron density. and the molecule itself is not polar. so it may have an expanded octet. one of the atoms is slightly more negative than the other. Equilibrium and Reaction Rates Factors That Affect Reaction Rates For the SAT II Chemistry test. The two lone electron pairs on the oxygen atom establish a negative pole on this bent molecule. while the bound hydrogen atoms constitute a positive pole. Both of the C—O bonds in carbon dioxide are polar. such as equilibrium and reaction rate. but they’re oriented such that they cancel each other out. So. In fact. Carbon dioxide is a perfect example.

For example.change in the concentration of reactants or products over time in a chemical reaction. 3. Generally speaking. This is simple because the more molecules. It’s a general rule of thumb that a 10˚C increase in temperature will double the reaction rate. and it’s more likely that they will overcome the activation energy needed to start the reaction. a neutral salt and water are formed. 1. the molecules are moving around more quickly (they have more kinetic energy). consider a teaspoon of salt dissolving in water. likewise. The good news is that for the SAT II Chemistry exam. the salt formed will be basic. or neutral. the more quickly it will proceed. first ask yourself. the resulting salt will be acidic. and the products do not have characteristics of either acids or bases. you needn’t worry about weak-weak combinations. Which acid reacted with which base to form this salt? Next ask yourself. Now let’s quickly go through those factors that influence reaction rate again: 1. If you were to dump the salt into the beaker of water and let it float to the bottom without stirring it. but if reactants are in different phases. or basic. and a salt is defined as any compound formed whose anion came from an acid and whose cation came from a base. reacts with the acid. Biological catalysts are known as enzymes. if a strong base and a weak acid are mixed. A catalyst speeds up the rate of reaction by lowering the activation energy. Was the acid strong or weak?and then. For example. The first is the concentration of reactants. the reaction will go more quickly. the more collisions between molecules. Fe(NO3)3 . Look at the reaction below: HCl ( a q ) + NaOH ( a q ) H 2 O ( l ) + NaCl ( a q ) The anion from the acid (Cl–) reacts with the cation from the base (Na+) to give a salt. K2CO3 is formed when the base. it would take much longer for it to dissolve than if you stirred the solution. The final factor that affects certain reactions is the physical state of the reactants. and the faster the reaction will go. basic. then the reaction area is limited to the area where they touch each other. Instead. At higher temperatures. a neutralization reaction occurs. 4. The addition of a catalyst will also speed up a chemical reaction. the faster the reaction will proceed. if we increase the concentration of one or more reactants. H2CO3 (which is weak since it isn’t one of our six strong acids). if you mix two gases or two liquids. Concentration of the reactants Temperature Presence of a catalyst Physical state of the reactants Acid–Base Reactions: Neutralization Reactions When a strong acid and a strong base solution are mixed. if one is a gas and one is a liquid. When a strong acid and a weak base are mixed. The higher the temperature of the reaction. Four main external conditions affect reaction rate. Example Classify each of the salts listed below as acidic. for example. this means they will collide with each other with more energy. and the larger this area. the resulting salt will be basic. Was the base strong or weak? Consider K2CO3. Since this is a combination of a strong base and a weak acid. The second factor that influences reaction rate is temperature. potassium hydroxide (which is strong since potassium is a 1A metal). this represents a homogenous reaction. If on the SAT II Chemistry test you are asked to determine if a salt formed in a particular reaction is neutral. Now try some problems on your own. acidic. 2. The only other important thing you need to remember about catalysts is that they are not consumed in the course of the reaction.

The sum . with strong acid. The law of conservation of energy (also known as the first law of thermodynamics) states that in the course of a chemical reaction. sulfuric acid. You will also be expected to find values for these energy relationships and use specific heat and energy changes in different systems.2. magnesium 3. Thermodynamics The SAT II Chemistry exam will test your ability to understand the concepts of enthalpy. All of these concepts fall under the broad category of chemical thermodynamics. Fe(NO3)3—This salt was formed from the reaction of a weak base. This is an acidic salt. hydroxide. and thermodynamics is the area of chemistry that deals with energy relationships. nitric acid. nickel (II) hydroxide. with a strong acid. with a strong acid. 2. energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Heat is also measured in joules. Energy is measured in joules. Heat (q) refers to the transfer of energy in a physical or chemical process: heat always flows from a warmer object to a cooler one. Ni(ClO4)2 Explanation 1. iron (III) hydroxide. MgSO4 3. But what exactly is energy? So far we’ve talked about it only tangentially. This means that the salt will be acidic. This reaction results in a neutral salt. and free energy for various systems. entropy. MgSO4—This salt was formed from the reaction of a strong base. perchloric acid. We will begin this chapter by introducing some terms and concepts that are probably already familiar to you. but here we can define energy (E) as the ability to do work or produce heat. Ni(ClO4)2—This salt was formed from the reaction of a weak base.

bismuth. Chemistry of Some Common Substances There will probably be several questions on the SAT II exam that will ask about some common properties of chemicals. in chemical terms. and antimony Properties of Some Common Gases Hydrogen: H2 is a colorless. Oxygen: O2 makes up about 21% of our atmosphere (the other major gases that make up the atmosphere are nitrogen and argon). Let’s go through a few of them now. Energy comes in several different forms. a burning splint inserted into the test tube filled with hydrogen will “bark” as the hydrogen ignites. Metals You might recall from our earlier discussions (see “The Structure of Matter”) that metals have a positive center surrounded by a sea of electrons. and other metals Pewter: mixture of tin. which makes sense because as the molecules get larger. and all of these elements are diatomic. Another type of energy. Fluorine is a gas. This makes sense because as you move down the family. odorless gas. Energy is needed in order to break bonds and is given off when bonds form. called kinetic energy. and so on. An alloy is often much stronger than the individual metal itself. Many of these gases appear in signs (such as neon signs). found in bleach and muriatic acid (HCl). is the energy stored in chemical bonds. It is a colorless. Fluorine is the anti-tooth-decay element. The list below constitutes some of the things that everyone should know about chemistry. in kelvins. Argon is fairly abundant in our atmosphere. This sea of electrons makes metallic substances very good conductors of electricity. Fluorine is the most reactive of the halogens. so it’s harder for the nucleus to hold on to the lonely valence electron. and iodine is a solid. Group 1A (Alkali Metals) This group consists of the most active metals on the periodic table. there are more intermolecular forces to hold them together. exists in matter in motion. Some of the more common alloys include Brass: mixture of copper and zinc Sterling silver: mixture of silver and copper Steel: mixture of iron and carbon Bronze: mixture of copper. Most cities also add fluoride ion to the water supply. Usually the energy of particles is proportional to the temperature. of the system as well as the mass and the velocity of the object: KE = mv2. more shielding. Group 7A (Halogens) This group contains the most reactive nonmetals on the periodic table. When hydrogen gas is collected in a test tube in the lab. and is added to every city’s water supply. odorless gas that is necessary for life . Group 8A (Noble Gases) The noble gases are considered the most stable family on the periodic table.of all of the potential and kinetic energy in a system is known as the internal energy of the system.Potential energy. Helium is used to fill balloons because it is much less dense than air. Chlorine is a very common antibacterial agent. copper. but now helium is used since hydrogen is very flammable. Many drain cleaners contain sodium hydroxide. there are more energy levels. They react readily with acids to produce hydrogen gas and get even more reactive as you move down the family. zinc. bromine is a liquid. these metals react with water at room temperature to form bases. Alloys are substances that contain a mixture of elements that have metallic properties. It was once used to fill blimps because of its low density.

for refrigeration and air-conditioning.and supports combustion reactions. which is . Some of the major pollutant gases are listed below. Air Pollution Air pollution is the contamination of air by a variety of substances. It also contains some compounds that have functional groups containing sulfur. It can be formed from all types of common human activity. are used in great quantities in industry. primarily methane (CH4). Carbon dioxide: CO2 is also a colorless. It has thinned the ozone layer above the earth. including cigarette smoke. Coal is solid and is composed of large hydrocarbons and other compounds that contain sulfur. nitrogen. but mostly hydrocarbons. change the chemistry of river and lake water by lowering the pH so that it’s harmful to animal life. It can cause damage to humans (especially our respiratory system). where they readily react with the ozone that constitutes the ozone layer. Environmental Chemistry Fuels The major sources of energy in the United States are coal. When it’s combusted. or oxygen. odorless gas that does not support combustion. Chlorine: Cl2 is a deadly yellow-green gas. or CFCs. Nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide: NOx and SOx are major contributors to smog and acid rain. When oxygen is collected in a test tube in the laboratory. petroleum. and a wide range of natural and artificial materials. and you should definitely remember the following statement (which is an extrapolation of the above idea) for the SAT II Chemistry test: Equal volumes of gases under the same conditions of temperature and pressure contain equal numbers of molecules. Acid rain can harm vegetation. which can cause respiratory problems in humans. a burning wooden splint will go out when placed into the gas. It has often been used as a weapon in warfare. it’s a pollutant. Avogadro’s Law The volume of a gas at a given temperature and pressure is directly proportional to the quantity of the gas. oxygen. and in consumer products. Chlorofluorocarbons: Chlorofluorocarbons. Avogadro’s law. such as burning fuels and even breathing. the environment. however. effectively degrading it. Another common lab test for CO2 is to bubble it into limewater. Avogadro’s hypothesis comes directly from this relationship. Carbon dioxide: CO2 is the principal greenhouse gas and is primarily responsible for the greenhouse effect. Petroleum is a liquid made up of hundreds of different components. and natural gas. When found at ground level. and nitrogen. We are quickly depleting the available fossil fuels. many fire extinguishers use carbon dioxide to extinguish flames. causing health problems and damaging our environment. and react with the marble of statues and buildings and decompose them. a glowing wooden splint will reignite. begins to precipitate. When carbon dioxide gas is collected in a test tube in the laboratory. Carbon monoxide: CO is produced from incomplete combustion of all types of natural and synthetic products. The clear solution will turn cloudy as calcium carbonate. When it builds up in high concentrations. all of which are known as fossil fuels. CaCO3. Fossil fuels were formed millions of years ago by the decomposition of animals and plants and thus are in limited supply. Natural gas consists of hydrocarbons in the gas phase. they rise into the stratosphere. These gases both react with volatile organic compounds to form smog. exposing us to harmful UV radiation from the sun. Ca(OH)2. Vehicle exhaust and industry waste are major sources of ground-level ozone. The first step in refining (processing) petroleum is to separate it into fractions based on the different boiling points of its components. the sulfur it contains is converted to SO2. which is an air pollutant. Ozone: O3 gas occurs naturally in the upper atmosphere. where it shields the earth from the sun’s dangerous ultraviolet rays. it can be very toxic. When released into the air. Cities with heavy traffic problems are known for dangerous CO levels.

and the change in enthalpy of the system. enthalpy is a state function. tables of standard values. First of all. so make sure to study the following list so nothing surprises you on test day. has a positive value. A reaction in which there is a net production of heat by the system is called an exothermic reaction. In this type of reaction. in joules. and this change in heat in the system is measured in terms of the system’s enthalpy (H). meaning that at constant pressure. A reaction in which there is a net absorption of heat energy is called an endothermic reaction. and in this type of reaction energy is a reactant. the enthalpy of a system is equal to the heat. the enthalpy changes of a reaction can be calculated in several ways. DH. Hess’s law. and the change in enthalpy of the system. says that the volume of a gas maintained at constant temperature and pressure is directly proportional to the number of moles of the gas. and the bond energies of the substances involved. or V = constant n (where n is the number of moles of the gas) Enthalpy Often chemical changes result in either the release or the absorption of heat. calorimetry. of a system. at a constant pressure. including by using stoichiometry. . has a negative value. The figure below shows an exothermic reaction—you can see that the products have lower energy than the reactants and that the DH of the reaction has a positive value—890 kJ. meaning that its value is fixed when temperature. composition. Second. pressure. DH = q.derived from this basic idea. There are several different forms of enthalpy you might encounter on the SAT II Chemistry exam. usually in the presence of O2) Enthalpy of formation (DHf)—The amount of heat absorbed or released when 1 mole of a compound is formed from elements in their standard states Enthalpy of fusion (DHfus)—The amount of heat that must be absorbed to melt 1 mole of solid to liquid at the normal melting point Enthalpy of vaporization (DHvap)—The amount of heat that must be absorbed to change 1 mole of liquid to gas at the normal boiling point Some final notes about enthalpy before we move on. DH. • • • • • Enthalpy of reaction (DHrxn)—The amount of heat absorbed or released by the chemical reaction Enthalpy of combustion (DHcomb)—The amount of heat absorbed or released by combustion (burning. and physical form are specified. Let’s now move on to determining DH values of systems using the above methods. Finally. energy is a product.

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