Berry Holmes
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Can isotopes of a given element be represented by different symbols?
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22 votes

IR-3.3.1 Isotopes of an element The isotopes of an element all bear the same name (but see Section IR-3.3.2) and are designated by mass numbers (see Section IR-3.2). For example, the atom of atomic ...

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Can hydrogen on platinum reduce carboxylic acids and esters?
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18 votes

This is based off my memory, as far as I can remember what my teacher taught me. Note, instead of $\ce{Pt}$, you can go for $\ce{Ni}$ (or Raney Nickel) or even $\ce{Pd}$ as a catalyst. Functional ...

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How to calculate the height of an hcp lattice?
17 votes

To calculate the height of a unit cell, consider a tetrahedral void in an hexagonal closed packing arrangement. It can be imagined as a 3 solid spheres touching each other and at the center-point, you ...

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Mechanism for the Cleavage of Diborane?
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14 votes

Is it known how this cleavage occurs? The mechanism proposed for the cleavage reaction involves an initial attack by the donor on one boron atom in diborane, leading to cleavage of one $\ce{B-H-B}$ ...

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Is it possible to make an anticatalyst?
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14 votes

Some substances do exist that slow down reactions and they're different from catalytic inhibitors/poisons. Such substances are called negative catalysts. Here is one example I can think of right now: $...

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What is parachemistry? What does a parachemist do?
11 votes

I'll try to present the best I could find. The titles "para", "meta" and "ortho" were perhaps given by Hermann Kolbe (1818-1884) way back in the nineteenth century. For ...

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Are stronger bonds always shorter?
11 votes

I would like to add a few cases featuring A-A type bonds, where bond strength and bond length orders follow quite an anomaly. $\ce{N-N}$ and $\ce{P-P}$ bonds. The lone pairs present on nitrogen atoms ...

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What is the optical nature of the tris(ethylenediamine)cobalt(III) cation?
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10 votes

Ethylenediammine or $en$ is an symmetrical didentate ligand. You can remember a rule of thumb for this if you like: In the case of $3$ symmetrical didentate ligands, i.e. $[\ce{M(AA)3}]$, the ...

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How is the the law of chemical equivalence defined and what are its limitations?
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9 votes

Basically the law of equivalence wants you to balance the equivalents that are involved in your reaction. I'd like you to view you reactions in two parts, the oxidation and reduction halves. I see: $$...

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Why does lead nitrate powder on heating starts turning yellow from the top rather than from the bottom?
9 votes

Lead oxide is a peculiar type of salt. It's brown when it's hot and turns yellow when it's cool. The lower most part remaining white could be due to two possible reasons: The top-powder becoming ...

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What would this unsaturated cyclic compound be called?
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8 votes

Chemspider tells me that the name should be 1,1'-Bi(cyclohexylidene) http://www.chemspider.com/Chemical-Structure.121798.html?rid=e40cd595-d5e5-450e-bdb3-3e558a9da92d While PubChem mentions: ...

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Li2O + 2KCl =2 LiCl +K2O: Is it a feasible Reaction?
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7 votes

Although every reaction is reversible in nature, let's try to understand where the equilibrium might be biased, i.e. whether the reactant side favoured or the product side. A rule of thumb while ...

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If you add AlCl3 to water, why does the pH decrease?
7 votes

When you add $\ce{AlCl3}$ to water a reaction takes place: $$ \ce{AlCl3 + H2O <=> Al(OH)3 + HCl} $$ But wait, now I've an acid, i.e. hydrochloric acid ($\ce{HCl}$) and probably a base ($\ce{Al(...

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Why do metals appear lustrous?
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7 votes

Light is an electromagnetic wave. A metal has a large cloud of relatively free electrons (electrons that are loosely bound to the metal surface). When a beam of light is incident on a metal surface, ...

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Why does silver oxide form a coordination complex when treated with ammonia?
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6 votes

It's quite elementary (perhaps). Silver (and gold) are known to show two main coordination numbers in its compounds, namely, $2$ and $4$. To start, we can consider $\ce{[Ag(OH)2]-}$ to be our initial ...

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What is the structure of [Co(NH3)5SO4]+?
6 votes

There's a certain amount of misinformation here: sulfate is a bidentate ligand Sulfate is actually a flexidentate ligand, which is a term used to describe a polydentate ligand which is found to ...

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What is the reason of the color difference for the cis/trans isomers of tetraamminedichloridocobalt(III) chloride?
6 votes

An attempt to simplify (to make it a bit more comprehensible to a curious highschooler) and explain some of the terminologies used in Xahoc's answer. This is not intended to be a standalone answer and ...

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Why does ice melt slower at higher altitudes?
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6 votes

A simplified attempt. For a simplified answer that attempts at a solution using Le Chatelier's principle, you'll need a constraint: Ice and water are at an equilibrium at $\pu{0^\circ C}$. $$\ce{...

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Why boron trihydride is weaker lewis acid than boron tribromide and boron tri-iodide?
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5 votes

Predicting the acidic strengths of $\ce{BX_3}$ using back-bonding is one plausible theory. This article1 hints us to use bond-strength data to predict the same: The weaker Lewis acid strength of $\ce{...

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Why is diborane cleaved symmetrically by trimethylamine but unsymmetrically by ammonia?
5 votes

Excerpts from my answer here. The mechanism proposed for the cleavage reaction involves an initial attack by the donor on one boron atom in diborane, leading to cleavage of one $\ce{B-H-B}$ bridge. ...

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Hash and Wedge nomenclature
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5 votes

Both schools of thought were prevalent, one said that the narrow end should be considered in the plane of paper, the second said that the wide end should be considered. Perhaps the first was based on ...

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How do these cascade reactions work?
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5 votes

how do you do the others? You do it like a detective. Even the slightest details matter, and you've to link a lot of concepts together. The main theme you're missing in your question is this ...

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Use of significant figures in addition and subtraction
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5 votes

No. The answer isn't accurate enough. Say, for example I wish to add two numbers: $1.23$ and $2.367$. I proceed like this, but I've no idea what the third digit after the decimal in $1.23$ is and so ...

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How much KMnO4 is required for the complete oxidation of ferric/ferrous oxalate in acidic medium?
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5 votes

I'd like the question to be tackled in two parts. In each part, we're going to deal with one of ferric oxalate and ferrous oxalate. Since the mixture ($\pu{5 mol}$) given to us is equimolar, we have $...

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Why chlorine acts as a strong field ligand in tetrachloridoplatinate(II)?
5 votes

I would like to add an answer stating a few exceptions which would come handy to you in future: $\ce{Ni^{2+}}$ has a $3d^8$ configuration. In this case strong field ligands ($\ce{C}$ or $\ce{N}$ ...

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Is there an explanation to the atomisation energy trend of transition metals?
4 votes

The hump is apparent because of the dip. To be more clear, it is good to know that all these attributes follow the same trends: Metallic character Strength of metallic bonding Enthalpy of atomisation ...

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How to identify if it is a buffer solution
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4 votes

Well, it all boils down to the preparation of buffer solutions in the first place. One of the methods of preparation includes the mixing of a salt solution of an weak acid and a strong base with a ...

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What does penicillin react with?
4 votes

To begin with, first pull up a structure of Penicillin (Image is in public domain): Next, try to identify some of the functional groups, as an example I've marked two of them: one in yellow and one ...

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Is ethanol an acid or a base or amphoteric?
4 votes

Acidity and basicity is a relative concept. A species can behave as an acid or a base but then that would depend on the reaction which we're talking about. Consider, for instance, acetic acid $(\ce{...

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Can a liquid turn to a solid by applying pressure?
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3 votes

It is possible to change a liquid into a solid, or in general change the phase a substance finds itself in by just altering the pressure. You might want to refer to some graphs known as Phase ...

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