First semester chem student and I am wondering about redox reactions. For example, when copper is oxidized by silver ions in the reaction: Cu + 2Ag+(aq)----->Cu2+(aq) + 2Ag(s) what is causing the copper to transfer 2 electrons (oxidize) to the silver ? At first I thought this was an ionic bond but learning that metals dont combine, that is not true. Does the transfer of electrons always imply a bond? If not, what causes this oxidation reaction, oxygen? And if so why isnt it written in the reaction itself? Fundamental I know, but I am trying to understand this.
There is no bond between them. If you dip Cu wire in AgNO3 solution then silver just deposits on top of Cu. The standard explanation involves the "activity of metals" and the redox potentials. In a sense it is similar to a question "why reaction 2NaI + Br2 -> 2NaBr + I2 goes in forward direction, but not the other way around?"
Please read a chapter on redox potential. Please ask a new question if something remains unclear.