|What is a ionic compound and why is it called so?|
|Question Date: 2018-03-14|
Hi, great question!
Ionic compounds are compounds that are made up
of ions. That is, where the name comes from.
Ionic compounds, however, can be explained a
little better so as to differentiate them between
the main other type, covalent compounds.
Ionic compounds, have ions, which do not share
electrons. That means that if you have a
compound like NaCl (table salt), the sodium is
missing one electron and is, positively charged
(Na+), and the chlorine has one extra electron,
and is negatively charged (Cl-). The positive and
negative attract, balancing each other out, making
a stable compound.
Covalent compounds, on the other hand, share
electrons so as to on average balance the charge
of each atom in the compound. That means
that if you have a compound like H2,
which has two electrons contained in a bond
between the two hydrogens, the electrons are
shared over two atoms, averaging out to one each
(2 electrons / 2 atoms = 1 electron/atom.) Because
each hydrogen only has one proton (+ charge) it
only needs on average 1 electron to make the atom
stable, which in turn makes the compound stable.
All the best!
Ionic compounds are compounds where one atom or
group of atoms (the cation) releases an electron
that is then taken up by another atom or group of
atoms (the anion). The compound is then held
together by electrostatic force of opposite
charges attracting. This is different from a
covalent compound in that covalent compounds
place electrons into new energy states that are
not simply one atom losing an electron and the
other gaining one. The reason why being ionic
is important is that the ions can get broken apart
by interacting with the positive and negative ends
of polar, but covalently-bonded molecules such
as water, which is why salts in general
dissolve so readily in water.
Ionic compounds are compounds that have
positive ions and negative ions The ions
separate when the ionic compound is dissolved in
water. Table salt is a good example. It is NaCl.
But the Na takes a proton from the Cl, and 2 ions
are formed: Na+ and Cl-. These ions separate when
you put the salt in water.
In contrast, sugar is not an ionic compound, so
when you dissolve it in water, it stays as the
same sugar molecules that were in the dry sugar
Ionic compounds are compounds (substances made
of more than one type of atoms, so sodium is not a
compound, but sodium chloride, otherwise known as
table salt, is a compound) made of ions. Ions
come from atoms - either single atoms, or a group
of atoms linked together - that have either lost
electrons or gained electrons.
Electrons are particles that make up atoms,
and can be exchanged. Each electron carries a
single negative charge, so atoms that lose
electrons become positively charged, and atoms
that gain electrons become negatively charged.
These are no longer called atoms; they are now
ions that are called cations (ions with
positive charges) and anions (ions with negative
charges), respectively. Ionic compounds are
made of these ions. Because these ions have
electrical charges, the cations and anions are
attracted to each other (opposite charges
attract), and these compounds in their solid forms
are held together as very small crystals by
the attractive forces exerted by the ions on each
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