Why can't hydrogen be a central atom?  [ENDORSED]

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RichardValdez1L
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:05 am

Why can't hydrogen be a central atom?

Postby RichardValdez1L » Sat May 12, 2018 3:36 pm

I have a hunch its because of its number of electrons but can't quite understand why? Is it because it can't form more than a single bond ?

Emily 1E
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:03 am

Re: Why can't hydrogen be a central atom?

Postby Emily 1E » Sat May 12, 2018 4:11 pm

Hydrogen generally can only formed one covalent bond, because of its single valence electron. Therefore, in molecules made up of 3 or more atoms, it would never be in the center because it can only bond with one other atom, as it can only share its singular electron in a covalent bond.

Salena Chowdri 1I
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:02 am

Re: Why can't hydrogen be a central atom?

Postby Salena Chowdri 1I » Sat May 12, 2018 5:36 pm

Hydrogen can't be the central atom because it can only form one bond, so it must generally be in the outer layer of atoms. When drawing a lewis structure, it's recommended for hydrogen atoms to be added in last.

Bryan Jiang 1F
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Re: Why can't hydrogen be a central atom?  [ENDORSED]

Postby Bryan Jiang 1F » Sun May 13, 2018 12:38 am

In addition to only having one electron, hydrogen also only has one orbital, the 1s orbital. So once hydrogen is sharing electrons with another atom, this one orbital that hydrogen has will be used up for this sharing. Any additional atom that wants to share electrons with this hydrogen cannot do so since there is no guaranteed orbital available for this atom to share electrons with the hydrogen, as hydrogen has its one only orbital that is already being used for sharing with the first atom. So, hydrogen cannot be a central atom since it only has one orbital available for sharing electrons with only one other atom.

Caroline Crotty 1D
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:02 am

Re: Why can't hydrogen be a central atom?

Postby Caroline Crotty 1D » Sun May 13, 2018 8:54 pm

Since hydrogen only has one bond, it cannot form bonds with more then one other element.

Jocelyn1B
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:04 am

Re: Why can't hydrogen be a central atom?

Postby Jocelyn1B » Sun May 13, 2018 10:02 pm

Hydrogen is a special case. It can only form one bond so it won't help putting it in the center. Hydrogen atoms are recommended to be at the sides.

Tiffany Tufenkjian 1E
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:05 am

Re: Why can't hydrogen be a central atom?

Postby Tiffany Tufenkjian 1E » Sun May 13, 2018 10:06 pm

Hydrogen only has a 1s orbital, so once it forms a bond with another atom, its single orbital is full.


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