Central Atom?  [ENDORSED]

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mitalisharma2B
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Central Atom?

Postby mitalisharma2B » Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:38 pm

Why is it that the atom with the lowest ionization energy is always the central atom of a Lewis Structure?

Chem_Mod
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Re: Central Atom?  [ENDORSED]

Postby Chem_Mod » Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:08 pm

The central atom will have to "share" its electrons with the most other atoms. Thus, it should not really "want" to keep those electrons as much. So the atom with the lowest ionization energy will satisfy that requirement.

Alex Leve 3F
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Re: Central Atom?

Postby Alex Leve 3F » Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:12 pm

The central atom is the one with the lowest ionization energy because having lower ionization energy means being more easily able to share/give up electrons rather than holding on to its lone pairs. An element's first ionization energy is simply the energy required to pull off one electron, so intuitively, elements with lower ionization energy commonly have multiple covalent bonds in a molecule while elements with higher ionization energy commonly hold on to their lone pairs rather than having several covalent bonds.

Angelica Mercado 1A
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Re: Central Atom?

Postby Angelica Mercado 1A » Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:58 pm

I was wondering why Hydrogen is never the central atom despite sometimes being the atom with the least ionization energy in a molecule?

Mikaila 3E
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Re: Central Atom?

Postby Mikaila 3E » Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:07 pm

Hydrogen is not the central atom because it only has one bond meaning it can only bond with one atom. Because of this, Hydrogen has to be placed on the atoms towards the outside of the molecule. If Hydrogen is the central atom, there is only one other atom it can bond with but there are molecules that have more than 2 atoms.

Elika Asis 3C
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Re: Central Atom?

Postby Elika Asis 3C » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:52 pm

Hydrogen cannot be the central atom mainly because it only has one electron, therefore can only form one bond, and when an atom is the central that usually implies that it must be able to form more than one bond. It could be considered as an exception considering it isn't able to bond to as many atoms like other elements.

Amelia Georgius 1K
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Re: Central Atom?

Postby Amelia Georgius 1K » Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:39 pm

Hydrogen cannot be the central atom because it only can form one bond, therefore it cannot bond to multiple different atoms or satisfy the octet rule.

Michael Lee 2I
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Re: Central Atom?

Postby Michael Lee 2I » Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:58 pm

Hydrogen only has one electron. Because of this it cannot satisfy the octet rule and won't be the central atom


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