Free Electrons?

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Free Electrons?

Postby BeylemZ-1B » Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:34 am

When writing the half-reactions for redox equations, we get something along the lines of ...
AG+ + e- ---> AG(s) (reduction, gaining electron).
Can the single electron actually exist as an electron in space?
I didn't think it could, so if not, why do we write it this way?

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Re: Free Electrons?

Postby romina_4C » Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:37 am

The half reactions are part of the larger overall redox reaction, which consists of the half reactions of oxidation and reduction. Thus, you are only look at half of the overall equation when you're looking at a half-reaction. That singular electron gained by Ag in a reduction was lost by oxidation from another atom.

Jasmine Fendi 1D
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Re: Free Electrons?

Postby Jasmine Fendi 1D » Tue Feb 18, 2020 1:49 pm

I agree with the previous comment! Reduction reactions are always paired with Oxidation reactions, thus giving the name redox reaction.

Alexandra Bartolome 2H
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Re: Free Electrons?

Postby Alexandra Bartolome 2H » Tue Feb 18, 2020 2:08 pm

^^ Like what they said, an oxidation half-reaction and reduction half-reaction are part of an overall redox reaction. Writing the half-reaction is a conceptual way of showing just the oxidation part of the redox reaction or the reduction part. The electron is not actually free, it's in transit unlike in an actual ionization.

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