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Questions tagged [inorganic-chemistry]

Inorganic compounds generally do not have C-H bonds, while organic compounds do have such bonds. The distinction between inorganic and organic chemistry, however, is far from absolute.

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Why is gold golden?

Bulk gold has a very characteristic warm yellow shine to it, whereas almost all other metals have a grey or silvery color. Where does this come from? I have heard that this property arises from ...
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6answers
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Do all salts taste salty?

Recently, I am learning the production of soluble and insoluble salts. My friend and I have done this experiment at the school lab. We wanted to taste them to see whether they are salty are not. The ...
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Why do we write NH3?

We've learnt that the electropositive element is written first. Then why is ammonia written as $\ce{NH3}$ ?
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Is carbon dioxide organic or inorganic?

Today in chemistry class we were discussing Organic Chemistry. We discussed what organic compounds basically are and then I asked the teacher whether $\ce{CO_2}$ is organic or not. She told that it is ...
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Why is an S-S bond stronger than an O-O bond?

I'm wondering why exactly the single bond between two sulfur atoms is stronger than that of two oxygen atoms. According to this page, an $\ce{O-O}$ bond has an enthalpy of $142~\mathrm{kJ~mol^{-1}}$, ...
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Why do compounds like SF6 and SF4 exist but SH6 and SH4 don't?

Both $\ce{SF6}$ and $\ce{SH6}$ and $\ce{SF4}$ and $\ce{SH4}$ have the same central atom and the same hybridization, but my teacher specifically mentioned that $\ce{SH6}$ and $\ce{SH4}$ don't exist. I'...
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1answer
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Why does sulfur, but not oxygen, catenate?

Oxygen is a rather boring element. It has only two allotropes, dioxygen and ozone. Dioxygen has a double bond, and ozone has a delocalised cloud, giving rise to two "1.5 bonds". On the other hand, ...
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Does heavy water taste sweet?

In this YouTube video from Cody's Lab, Cody claims that heavy water tastes sweet. He does some fairly convincing comparisons but still expresses a little doubt that the effect is real. Has this been ...
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What is the inert pair effect?

I was reading about the p-block elements and found that the inert pair effect is mentioned everywhere in this topic. However, the book does not explain it very well. So, what is the inert pair effect? ...
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Why is arsenous acid denoted H3AsO3?

Inspired by this question, I'm wondering why arsenous acid is frequently denoted $\ce{H3AsO3}$, as opposed to $\ce{As(OH)3}$, which would appear to more accurately reflect its connectivity? [edit] I ...
36
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1answer
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Why is the vanadium(3+) ion paramagnetic?

I know that the electron configuration of vanadium is $[\ce{Ar}]\mathrm{4s^2 3d^3}$. None of the electrons in the 3d subshell are paired. Once it loses these three electrons, shouldn't the remainder ...
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Why does potassium react more violently with water than lithium?

Recently, I was telling my friends about the violent reaction that takes place when you throw potassium into water. Soon after, a friend of mine claimed that lithium would react more violently than ...
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Would it be possible to destroy gold?

I'm a writer. I have a scenario in which a sizable amount of gold needs to be rendered unusable, preferably completely destroyed. I know an acid like aqua regia is able to dissolve gold, but would ...
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7answers
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Why is BCl3 a monomer whereas AlCl3 exists as a dimer?

What makes dimerization possible in $\ce{AlCl3}$? Are there 3c-2e bonds in $\ce{Al2Cl6}$ as there are in $\ce{B2H6}$?
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Does O2 have a color in the gas phase

I have noticed that liquid $\ce{O2}$ (I clarify it as $\ce{O2}$ because oxygen exists in several other forms which have different colors in the liquid state than $\ce{O2}$) has a light blue color to ...
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Why is snow white?

I know that this is a rather ambiguous question; but my question is, whenever we take water and freeze it in the freezer, it still tends to stay clear. Since snow is just frozen water, why is it white?...
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4answers
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Is activated carbon classified as organic or inorganic?

Organic compounds are typically defined as “molecules containing carbon”. Wikipedia states that there for some historical (read: non-logical) reasons, a few types of carbon-containing compounds ...
27
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2answers
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What do the prefixes meta, ortho, pyro mean in inorganic chemistry?

In inorganic chemistry, when is the prefix meta used? (as in metaborate and metasulphite) What about the terms pyro and ortho (as in orthophosphorous acid)? For example, I recently came to know about ...
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Can magnetic fields affect a chemical reaction?

This question was asked recently in an interview and I just said that "Yeah, like if the reaction involves ions or paramagnetic species". But the interviewer went on and asked me to elaborate on HOW ...
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3answers
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Are graphite and hexagonal boron nitride aromatic

Are graphite and hexagonal boron nitride aromatic? Graphite has a planar network of 6-membered rings with each carbon connected to three other carbons. Since the valency of carbon is not satisfied, ...
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1answer
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How can there be decimal subscripts in a molecular formula?

While learning about how batteries work I have encountered the following notation for a Li-ion cathode: $\ce{Li_{0.5}FePO4}$.[1] According to Wikipedia, the subscript number in a reaction equation ...
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What metals aren't dissolved in/attacked by aqua regia?

Aqua regia (Latin: Royal Water) is one of the strongest acids known in Chemistry, and is capable of dissolving gold and platinum. My copy of the Oxford science dictionary goes on to say (under the ...
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Why are silicon analogs of alkenes or alkynes so difficult to make?

We know that there are silicon analogs of alkanes, but according to Wikipedia, silicon analogs of alkenes or alkynes are virtually unknown. How come?
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1answer
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How to name binary (inorganic) compounds given their chemical formula, and vice-versa?

I wish to understand how to name binary (inorganic) compounds when given their formula. When I am a given compound like $\ce{B2F2}$ or $\ce{N2O4}$, I have little to no clue on how to write their ...
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1answer
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What is the meaning of the “-osic” suffix on a metal (e.g., cobaltosic oxide)?

I just came across the term cobaltosic for the first time in the abstract of Ind Eng Chem Res 52(18): 6076, 2013 (emphasis added): A nanocomposite of cobaltosic oxide and nitrogen-doped graphene ($\...
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Why do the alkali metals form different products upon combustion in air?

From Wikipedia's article on sodium: When burned in dry air, it forms primarily sodium peroxide with some sodium oxide. We know that sodium has a strong reducing capacity, so why does it produce a ...
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1answer
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“Middle row anomaly” of the periodic table

I was studying about the periodic table recently, and was reading a topic associated with oxides of halogens, and came across the following line The bromine oxides, $\ce{Br2O}$, $\ce{BrO2}$, $\ce{...
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Solutions of Group 1 and Group 2 metals in Ammonia

When we add Group-1 and Group-2 metals to liquid ammonia, they dissolve to form metal cations and solvated electrons. $$\ce{M + NH3(liq) -> M+ + e-}$$ Now, when the G-1 solutions evaporate, we ...
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1answer
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What is the mathematical basis behind the Jahn-Teller effect?

Both first-order and second-order Jahn-Teller distortions play a very important role in chemistry. It is often said that the Jahn-Teller effect is based on symmetry arguments, and hence nothing can ...
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2answers
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Melting and boiling points of transition elements

The melting and boiling points of transition elements increases from scandium ($1530~\mathrm{^\circ C}$) to vanadium ($1917~\mathrm{^\circ C}$). They increase because as we go across the group, we ...
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7answers
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How to solidify sand

I'm doing a research project where we analyzing the structure of sand after a certain process. To get a better idea of the internal structure of the sand, we use different colors to visualize the ...
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2answers
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Storing hydrofluoric acid before the invention of plastics

The first person to synthesize hydrofluoric acid in large quantities was Carl Wilhelm Scheele in 1771. This acid is known for its ability to corrode glass and metals. What materials were the ...
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Why do XeO and XeF8 not exist?

Since Neil Bartlett's 1962 discovery that xenon was capable of forming chemical compounds, a large number of xenon compounds have been discovered and described. Almost all known xenon compounds ...
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1answer
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Why is [PdCl4]2- square planar whereas [NiCl4]2- is tetrahedral?

The molecule $\ce{[PdCl4]^2-}$ is diamagnetic, which indicates a square planar geometry as all eight d electrons are paired in the lower-energy orbitals. However, $\ce{[NiCl4]^2-}$ is also $\mathrm{d^...
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1answer
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Why do thiols have such a propensity for bonding with mercury?

Historically, thiols $\ce{-SH}$ were known as "mercapto-" due to their strong propensity to bond with mercury. Certain drugs still carry this designation, though mercaptopurine has an $\ce{=S}$ group ...
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1answer
406 views

Why are lithides not known?

In the last few decades, many alkalides - anions of alkali metals - have been synthesised. The most famous is undoubtedly that of sodium: $\ce{[Na(\text{2.2.2-cryptand})]+Na-}$, but the alkalides $\ce{...
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Please explain why dioxygen difluoride is so dangerous

I just read this article that mentioned that dioxygen difluoride is very dangerous. The terms it uses are "awful", "violently hideous" and "deeply alarming". But I couldn't get a handle on exactly ...
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4answers
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How many Ga atoms are connected to one As atom in solid gallium arsenide?

In Boylestad and Nashelsky's Electronic Devices and Circuit Theory, the structure of GaAs is shown as follows: Arsenic is shown making five covalent bonds to neighbouring gallium atoms. However, I ...
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4answers
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Why does mercury decolourise a gold ring?

I saw that a gold ring decolourised as it got in contact with mercury . Why does this happen ? Is there any way to reverse this?
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5answers
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Why does basicity of group 15 hydrides decrease down the group?

In my textbook it is written that the order of basic strength of pnictogen hydrides is $$\ce{NH3 > PH3 > AsH3 > SbH3 > BiH3}$$ I tried but could not find any explanation as to why this ...
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2answers
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Why is sand, sand; and why is glass, glass; While both mainly contain Silicon Dioxide?

I know that there is the famous process of heating material and converting them to glass; but what I don't know is, what is the chemical process of the creation of glass? Is it crystallization? How ...
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2answers
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What is the favoured geometry of chlorine trifluoride?

Why is the first structure on the left more stable than the second one on the right? In the first one the angle between the two pair of nonbonding electrons is about 120° which is a lot less than ...
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What is the smell of 'burning' metal?

When a pass a construction site where someone is welding two pieces of metal together there is a very distinct smell that I associate with 'burning' metal, although I am not quite sure it is burning ...
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1answer
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Why is NaCl3 possible?

There. And there. Almost a year ago, a group of scientists claimed to have reached compounds of $\ce{Na}$ and $\ce{Cl}$ with weird stochiometries ($\ce{NaCl3, Na3Cl, NaCl7, Na3Cl2}$ and $\ce{Na2Cl}$). ...
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2answers
11k views

Why is distillation not a viable way to seperate ammonia from water?

Since the steam pressure of ammonia is higher than that of water, I would expect distillation to be a reasonable way of seperating a mixture of both. However, in industrial applications known to me ...
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1answer
2k views

What is the nature of the bonding in cyclotriphosphazene?

The bonding in $\ce{(NPCl2)3}$ (and other compounds of the form $\ce{(NPR2)3}$) has historically been described using the ‘Dewar island model’. By analogy to benzene, $\ce{(NPCl2)3}$ is π-electron ...
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2answers
832 views

What causes the “Gd break” in the trend of lanthanide-EDTA formation constants?

Smith and Martell obtained a series of data for the binding of trivalent lanthanide ions, $\ce{Ln^3+}$, with various carboxylic acid ligands (amongst them the well-known EDTA).1 A graph of the ...
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1answer
259 views

Is it possible create crystalline solvate of electrons?

Okay, I know that this reads ridiculous insane, but one can obtain solvated electrons by adding sodium metal to liquid ammonia solution. The chemical reaction as written in my inorganic chemistry ...
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4answers
3k views

Will gaseous ionic compounds be free moving ions?

I knew while learning about electrolysis that if the ionic compound is molten it becomes free moving ions. If that is the case, what will happen if I continued heating till it reaches the boiling ...
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Why is ligand substitution only partial with copper(II) ions and ammonia?

When studying ligand substitution (at UK year 13 level), the following example has been given: \begin{align} \ce{[Cu(H2O)_6]^2+ + 2NH3 &<=> [Cu(OH)_2(H2O)_6] + 2NH4^+}\\ \ce{[Cu(OH)_2(H2O)...