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I totally zoned out when Dr. Lavelle explained this in class. I understood why molecules that are more polarizable had higher melting and boiling points (bc attraction) but I didn't catch why larger hydrocarbons are more polarizable than smaller ones. Can someone explain?
Larger hydrocarbons have more electrons which means greater polarizability which means greater attractive forces/stronger bonds between molecules. Stronger bonds/greater attractive forces between molecules results in the molecules forming a solid because solids are more tightly held together.
Polarizability is increased with increased size of atoms, number of electrons, and amount of negative charge (if you're talking about ions). Because larger hydrocarbons are larger and have more electrons, they are more polarizable. Their greater number of electrons experience more shielding and can therefore be pulled over to another atom/molecule more easily.
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