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Does atoms, neutrons, protons, nucleus have anything to do with the chemical reaction of vinegar and baking soda, and if so, why?
Question Date: 2018-02-07
Answer 1:

The nuclei (plural for nucleus) and neutrons do not participate directly in this reaction, but the electrons do . When vinegar (acetic acid) reacts with baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), the bicarbonate (baking soda) takes a proton from the acetic acid (vinegar), leaving the acetic acid with extra electrons and a negative charge, and this "leftover" substance is now called acetate. At this point, the bicarbonate has become carbonic acid because of the proton it has taken. The carbonic acid then turns into carbon dioxide and water - the carbon dioxide is what creates the gas bubbles!

The reactions happen when we mix vinegar and baking soda because different elements have different affinities for electrons, meaning that elements have different degrees to which they accept electrons. Elements on the right side of the periodic table accept electrons more readily than elements on the left side, so the right side is usually negatively charged in molecules (a group of atoms connected to one another by chemical bonds that depend on how attracted the atoms are to one another) and the left side is usually positively charged.

How much an element "likes" electrons depends on how many protons it has in its nucleus, how many electrons it already has, and other factors as well . In fact, chemistry is the study of how atoms interact with each other through their electrons, protons, and so on, so any chemical reaction will involve electrons in some way.

Answer 2:

Yes! These things play their parts in the reaction of vinegar and baking soda.

Atoms are the smallest things that make up different chemicals. Baking soda and vinegar have atoms of sodium and oxygen and carbon and hydrogen.

Neutrons and protons stay in the nucleus of the atom, so they just make the atom be the kind of atom it is - Sodium [Na], Carbon [C], Oxygen [O] or whatever. Hydrogen [H] has one proton and no neutrons in its nucleus. It's the lightest atom.

Living cells can have a nucleus, too. The cell nucleus and the atomic nucleus are totally different. The cell nucleus is filled with many many molecules. The atomic nucleus is filled with sub-atomic particles, which are mainly protons and neutrons.

Electrons are sub-atomic particles with a negative charge that move around outside the nucleus. Protons have positive charges, so there are the same number of protons and electrons in an atom, which gives it a charge of zero [0]. But some atoms like sodium [Na] have an electron that doesn't stay close to the nucleus. That electron goes off to attach to some other atom. The sodium atom becomes a sodium ion [Na+] with a charge of +1. In table salt, the other atom is chlorine [Cl], and it 'wants' another electron, so it takes the one Na is giving up, and you get salt, Na Cl = Na+ and Cl-.

The chemical name of baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. The sodium gives its extra electron to the bicarbonate, which is made from carbon dioxide and water. It's HCO3-.

Vinegar's chemical name is acetic acid. There's a hydrogen [H] in vinegar that 'wants' to give up its electron and go off as H+, which then gets water molecules all around it. H+ is a hydrogen ion, and it's also just a proton. That leaves the acetate with a minus [-] charge. CH3COO- is 'acetate'.

When you mix baking soda and vinegar, the vinegar's acetate, CH3COO-, and the baking soda's sodium, Na+, don't do much. But the H+ and the bicarbonate, HCO3-, react strongly together to make water, H2O, and carbon dioxide, CO2, which is a gas! That gives us all the bubbles.

The chemical reaction is

H+ and HCO3- equals H2O and CO2.

You can count the H's, O's, and the C on each side of the equation and see that they are the same. [Oops! I wrote it wrong and had to fix it. I think it's ok now.]

My little granddaughter loves to play with baking soda and vinegar and other stuff like salt and pepper in water. She likes to make big messes, which she calls 'science.' Baking soda with vinegar makes a really strong solution for cleaning things. My granddaughter's 'science' has taken the shiny finish off part of the shelf that runs between my kitchen and dining room. That's ok, though, because I put the shiny finish on myself, so I can put it on again.

Answer 3:

Vinegar is acetic acid, C2H4O2 , meaning that each molecule of acetic acid contains two atoms of carbon, four of hydrogen, and two of oxygen.

Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate, NaHCO3 , meaning that each molecule of sodium bicarbonate contains one atom of sodium, one of hydrogen, one of carbon, and three of oxygen.

The products of the reaction are carbon dioxide (CO2, or one atom carbon, two oxygen), water (H20, two hydrogen, one oxygen), and sodium acetate (NaC2H3O2, one sodium, two carbon, three hydrogen, two oxygen).

The protons in the nucleus determine the electric charge of the atom, which in turn determines how many electrons the atom has. The charge and electrons determine the chemistry. The neutrons, however, don't do much chemically, because they have no charge.

Answer 4:

As you may know, vinegar and baking soda are molecules. Molecules are made of atoms. Atoms are made of electrons and the nucleus. The nucleus is made of protons and neutrons. Chemical reactions happen when atoms from one molecule move to another molecule. For this to happen, molecular bonds need to get broken and formed. Molecular bonds are simply electrons shared between two atoms . However, the vinegar and baking soda reaction is somewhat special because it is an acid-base reaction.

In acid-base reactions, the moving atoms are actually just protons (yes, H+ is a special case where the whole atom is just a proton. So, a proton is also the whole nucleus). In the end, the short answer to your question is that all of the structures you mentioned are involved in the chemical reaction.

Answer 5:

Both vinegar and baking soda are molecules, not single atoms, which means that they are made up of different atoms joined together by chemical bonds. As you know, atoms are made of a nucleus of protons and neutrons surrounded by electrons. Two atoms can join together and form a chemical bond if they share one or more electrons. So you can think of two atoms in a molecule having individual nuclei (made of protons and neutrons) sitting next to each other and sharing electrons between them to make a molecule.

A chemical bond can either be ionic, meaning that the electron is not shared equally, but prefers to be with one of the atoms, or it can be covalent, meaning that the electron is shared equally between the two atoms. Any chemical reaction, including vinegar and baking soda, involves breaking some of these chemical bonds and forming new bonds between the atoms to make different molecules. It is important that the same individual atoms (the same number of protons, neutrons, and electrons) that are present before the reaction must be present after the reaction (so the individual atoms do not change), but the bonds between the atoms are different to make different molecules.

Answer 6:

This is a really interesting question because it touches on one of the most important parts of chemistry: what makes certain chemicals the way they are?

All molecules (like the ones that make vinegar and baking soda) are built by combining a specific number of atoms in the correct way. These atoms can come in a variety of different “flavors” called elements. You need to have the right flavors in the correct amounts to make a particular molecule. You may be wondering now, what makes each element different from each other?

Atoms can be further broken down into protons, neutrons, and electrons, and each element has a certain number of each of these. Protons and neutrons are found in the center of the atom (also called the nucleus) while electrons are found outside the nucleus. The only difference between the atoms of one element verses another is the number of protons, neutrons, and electrons that make up the atoms of each element. Each element has certain properties (similar to behaviors or feelings that different people have) and when they combine, they make molecules that reflect those properties. When certain molecules combine, like those in vinegar and baking soda, they react according to the properties of the molecules.

So to finally answer your question, yes: protons, neutrons, and electrons contribute to how an atom behaves and atoms contribute to how molecules behave. Thank you for your question!

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