Writing formulas for compounds  [ENDORSED]

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Angelica Gomez 1A
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Writing formulas for compounds

Postby Angelica Gomez 1A » Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:11 pm

"Write the complete Lewis structure for each of the following compounds: a) Ammonium chloride b) potassium phosphide c) sodium hypochlorite."
How do we figure out the subscript for each element when we are writing the formula for the compound?

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Re: Writing formulas for compounds  [ENDORSED]

Postby Chem_Mod » Fri Jul 08, 2016 12:45 pm

Because these are compounds and not ions, each of these compounds has an overall charge of zero. Only ions have charges. Therefore, to figure out the subscript, we must first determine the charge of the individual ions in each compound.

a) ammonium chloride: the formula for the ammonium ion is NH4+; the formula for the chloride ion is Cl-. Because you have a +1 and a -1 charge, it already adds to zero, so you only need one ion each. The formula for ammonium chloride is NH4Cl

b) potassium phosphide: the formula for the potassium ion is K+; the formula for the phosphide ion is P-3. You have have a +1 and a -3 charge. In order to get them to add to zero, you need three of the +1 potassium ions. Thus, the subscript for potassium is 3. The formula for potassium phosphide is K3P

c) sodium hypochlorite: the formula for the sodium ion is Na+; the formula for the hypochlorite is ClO-. Because you have a +1 and a -1 charge, it already adds to zero, so you only need one ion each. The formula for sodium hypochlorite is NaClO

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Re: Writing formulas for compounds

Postby derek1d » Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:11 pm

I am working on the same problem and while the explanation helps I still am confused on whether or not we are expected to know the chemical formulas for these salts?

I understand how we deduce the subscripts, but are we supposed to know that for example, ammonium ion is NHsub4? Or where do we get that information?

Prior to this problem I thought Ammonia was NHsub3 so I am just confused as to where we get this from and what do we used to derive the chemical formula for other questions that provide only the name?

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