Skip to main content
59 votes
Accepted

Why is fluorine a gas, but lithium isn't?

A lithium atom has one valence electron, easily lost (shared), so it is connected to other atoms by a metallic bond. This is a bit like the shell game where a pea (electron) is hidden under a walnut ...
DrMoishe Pippik's user avatar
36 votes
Accepted

Why do the alkali metals form different products upon combustion in air?

Since I will deal with all of the alkali metals in this answer, I think the question should also be broadened. There is no point in covering one single metal (sodium) without touching the others since ...
orthocresol's user avatar
  • 71.4k
31 votes
Accepted

What metals aren't dissolved in/attacked by aqua regia?

Keep in mind The answer will depend upon the reaction conditions. Most importantly, physical state of the metal: porosity, degree of comminution; temperature; mechanical aggravation of metal surface ...
Linear Christmas's user avatar
28 votes
Accepted

Gaseous metals?

No, gaseous metals do not retain metallic bonds, nor metallic conductivity, nor luster, nor any other metallic properties. They are no different from other gases. True, they typically require pretty ...
Ivan Neretin's user avatar
  • 31.2k
26 votes
Accepted

Why do only some metals make protective oxide layers?

The simple answer is that metals which form sufficiently insoluble oxide layers stifle the very process which caused the oxide layer in the first place. It's not just a matter of energy of formation ...
James Gaidis's user avatar
24 votes

How toxic chemically is plutonium (Pu), neglecting the radioactive damage?

The toxicity is primarily due to radioactivity and to absorption by the body, where that radioactivity can act internally. There is, "significant deposition of plutonium in the liver and in the &...
DrMoishe Pippik's user avatar
23 votes

How is aqua regia stored?

How is aqua regia stored as it dissolves all metals? No one stores aqua regia for extended periods of time, because it decomposes rapidly, yielding volatile products that escape from the solution ...
paracetamol's user avatar
  • 18.7k
21 votes
Accepted

How to think of solvated electrons?

The analogy with a proton is actually a good one if you are careful to remember that an electron is nearly 2000 times lighter than a proton. What does that mean? It means that despite the fact that an ...
jheindel's user avatar
  • 13.1k
20 votes
Accepted

Are salts (e.g. NaCl) soluble in liquid metals?

Yes, to varying extent. So just as a starter for your bibliographic research: The solubility of salts in metals, a technical report by the US Department of Energy turned in by December 31st, 1960: &...
Buttonwood's user avatar
  • 30.1k
19 votes
Accepted

Mercury metal: Not toxic?

Mercury is toxic, but you need to carefully define what you mean by toxic or you draw incorrect conclusions Toxic is a broad term. It means a lot of different things. The timescale matters. Some ...
matt_black's user avatar
  • 36.8k
19 votes
Accepted

What is happening in this video of solvated electrons donated from sodium in ammonia?

I'll try an answer to this question because I watched this video a while back and did a bit of reading on it at the time and I think I understand the big picture. The problem is that these solvated ...
jheindel's user avatar
  • 13.1k
19 votes

How toxic chemically is plutonium (Pu), neglecting the radioactive damage?

Actual toxicity other than radioactivity is not, as far as I know, very well studied. Quite simply, most of the danger is the radioactivity in general, as well as the toxicity of decay products (...
Austin Hemmelgarn's user avatar
18 votes
Accepted

How is hair tissue mineral analysis performed?

The analytical technique is called inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy. It was invented by a chemist V. A. Fassel, although it is pure physics. The specimen is digested in an acid,...
AChem's user avatar
  • 40.9k
16 votes

How can steel be so different from iron, even if amount of carbon is small?

One of the key considerations is that much of the interesting mechanical behaviour doesn't occur within the bulk of the material - it occurs at the interfaces between crystals (known as grains). Grain ...
MetallurgistPerson's user avatar
14 votes

Why is copper a better conductor than iron?

This is, ultimately, a question on solid state physics rather than chemistry. Further, the OP indicates that they are in high school, which kind of limits the depth of the answer that might be useful ...
Jon Custer's user avatar
  • 8,610
14 votes

What metals aren't dissolved in/attacked by aqua regia?

What metals (elemental, forget alloys) are neither attacked by nor dissolved in (freshly prepared) aqua regia? At normal condition, most of the metals are impervious to aqua regia but if the ...
Nilay Ghosh's user avatar
  • 25.9k
14 votes

Do metals form covalent bonds besides ionic and cordinate bond?

The first thing that should be said is that there's no difference between a coordinate bond (dative bond) and an ordinary covalent bond. Yes, the electrons "come from different places"; but the ...
orthocresol's user avatar
  • 71.4k
14 votes
Accepted

Is anything other than metals soluble in molten metals/alloys?

There are some examples of salts soluble in liquid metals. Above $\pu{1051 K}$, liquid bismuth is completely miscible with $\ce{BiCl3}$. More about these experiments here: https://www.osti.gov/biblio/...
Paul Kolk's user avatar
  • 555
13 votes
Accepted

How could I cause metal to rust rapidly?

Here are factors that would speed up rusting: Presence of water: make sure that the iron is wet. Presence of oxygen: make sure the iron have access to air (the dissolved oxygen in water also works). ...
DHMO's user avatar
  • 5,035
13 votes
Accepted

Is chromium the shiniest metal?

You likely refer to remission, especially if you would collect spectroscopic data with an integration sphere at hand. More generally, you refer to reflectance, which depends on the material, the ...
Buttonwood's user avatar
  • 30.1k
13 votes

Is there a simple way to distinguish grades of purity for copper metal?

It is unlikely that there is a simple method, not involving relatively expensive chemical analysis, for distinguishing 4N, 5N, and 6N copper specimens. Shown below is a photograph of some copper ...
Ed V's user avatar
  • 5,060
13 votes

What theory accurately explains metallic bonding in beryllium?

The usual MOT explanation for why the group IIA elements are metals is that the band caused by the overlap of the np orbitals is sufficiently wide to overlap that due to the ns orbitals (the one you ...
Ian Bush's user avatar
  • 3,049
13 votes

Are salts (e.g. NaCl) soluble in liquid metals?

The solubility of oxygen, in effect cuprous oxide, in molten copper is important in the smelting and processing of this metal. Silvain et al. 1 give the copper-oxygen phase diagram below: Thus at $\...
Oscar Lanzi's user avatar
  • 58.5k
12 votes

How is hair tissue mineral analysis performed?

Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) based techniques are very common for elemental analysis. The goal of such analyses is to quantify the elements present in a sample. The neat thing about this, in my ...
Yoda's user avatar
  • 4,733
12 votes
Accepted

Does molten metal liquid chromatography exist?

An obstacle of implementation is that the blend of metals has to be kept liquid all the time the chromatography runs, top to bottom of the column, while the equipment around has to sustain the ...
Buttonwood's user avatar
  • 30.1k
11 votes
Accepted

Why alkali metals have bcc structure?

For the moment I will focus on Na, although I may mention other elements in comparison. First, it is true that the STP stable phase of Na is bcc. However, the energy difference between the bcc, fcc, ...
Jon Custer's user avatar
  • 8,610
11 votes

Which side of an aluminum foil should I put in contact with food?

After some thought, I guess I'll go with the first argument, that seems plausible (though I don't think it's accidental). As for coating one side with a layer, that seems like a bit too much. ...
paracetamol's user avatar
  • 18.7k
11 votes
Accepted

Can a metal be forced to form an anion theoretically?

Absolutely! You will find these mostly in electride systems and off these, mostly in alkali metals. Here is an example research paper: "Superakali-Alkalide Interactions and Ion Pairing in Low-...
Evamentality's user avatar
11 votes

Why I am unable to see any electrical conductivity in Permalloy nano powders?

Nanoparticles are often pyrophoric, and may be coated to prevent spontaneous combustion. The particles' surface might be nitrided, or oxide coated, or coated with an organic chemical. Permalloy itself ...
DrMoishe Pippik's user avatar

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible