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A common prank on college campuses is to switch the salt and sugar on dining hall tables, which is usually easy because the substances look so much alike. Yet, despite the similarity in their appearance, these two substances differ greatly in their properties, since one is a molecular solid and the other is an ionic solid. How do the properties differ and why?

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Chemistry: An Atoms First Approach

2nd Edition
Steven S. Zumdahl + 1 other
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781305079243

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BuyFindarrow_forward

Chemistry: An Atoms First Approach

2nd Edition
Steven S. Zumdahl + 1 other
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781305079243
Chapter 9, Problem 32Q
Textbook Problem
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A common prank on college campuses is to switch the salt and sugar on dining hall tables, which is usually easy because the substances look so much alike. Yet, despite the similarity in their appearance, these two substances differ greatly in their properties, since one is a molecular solid and the other is an ionic solid. How do the properties differ and why?

Interpretation Introduction

Interpretation:

              The differences in the properties of the sugar and salt have to be explained.

Concept introduction:

              Both sugar and salt are solid substances and appear similar to some extent. Solids are of many types. There are two distinct types of solids – crystalline solids and amorphous solids. Crystalline solids further have their own set of classification. Each type of solid has unique structural arrangement and properties. These parameters can be used to distinguish between types of solids. The overall classification is summarized as follows,          Chemistry: An Atoms First Approach, Chapter 9, Problem 32Q

Explanation of Solution

Explanation

Understand the concept of crystalline solids and its types.

           In crystalline solids, the components are neatly packed in a regular, compact and orderly arrangement in a long range order. There are four types of arrangements in which the components are arranged in the same fashion mentioned above yet differ in their respective properties. They are –

  • Ionic solids
  • Molecular solids
  • Covalent – network solids
  • Metallic solids

             Crystalline solids have a well defined arrangement of their components. The four types - Ionic solids, molecular solids, network solids and metallic solids differ in their respective properties. The intermolecular forces are different in each type of solids which leads to the variation of their properties.

Understand the properties of each type of solids.

  • Ionic solids have high melting point, density, and tensile strength and exhibits conductivity.
  • Molecular solids have low to moderate melting point, low tensile strength and do not exhibit conductivity.
  • Network solids are macromolecules, quite hard, have high melting point and tensile strength and have insulating properties in general.
  • Metallic solids are lustrous, malleable and ductile and have high density, melting point and shows conductivity.

Ionic solids are composed of ions held together by electrostatic force of attraction. This kind of intermolecular force is the strongest known force. Due to this, ionic solids are hard, brittle and have high density, melting point and tensile strength. In their liquid and molten state, conductivity is observes due to the presence of free mobile ions and charges.

Sodium chloride – common salt, calcium fluoride, magnesium sulfide are examples for ionic solid.

              Molecular solids are composed of neutral molecules and the intermolecular forces acting between them are Van der Waals forces, London dispersion forces, dipole-dipole forces and hydrogen bonding. These forces are relatively weaker than electrostatic force of attraction. So they have low melting point, tensile strength. Ice, sugar, naphthalene, fullerene are examples of molecular solids.

              Network solids are composed of atoms of same element repetitively bonded to one another through covalent bond...

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Chapter 9 Solutions

Chemistry: An Atoms First Approach
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