Polarizing power vs polarizability

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Andrea- 3J
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Polarizing power vs polarizability

Postby Andrea- 3J » Thu May 24, 2018 10:46 am

Can someone please explain the difference between polarizing power vs polarizability?

All I know is that cations have higher polarization power and anions have higher polarizability.

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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:02 am

Re: Polarizing power vs polarizability

Postby kendallbottrell » Thu May 24, 2018 11:15 am

Polarizing power is the ability to distort electron clouds and polarizability to the extent to which an electron cloud is distorted. Cations have polarizing power because the small atoms with positive charge attract and distort the electrons of an anion. Anions are polarizable because their electron clouds are the ones being distorted by the cations.
When comparing polarizability, look at the size of the atoms (atomic radii trend) first and (least) electronegativity- the larger the anion and less electronegative, the more polarizable it is. When comparing polarizing power, look at the charge (larger positive charge) and then the size (want smaller atom) - the higher the + charge and smaller the atom, the higher polarizing power it has.

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Re: Polarizing power vs polarizability

Postby YeseniaGomez_1L » Thu May 24, 2018 12:53 pm

To explain the concept simply rather than the process and add to the answer above, I understand that polarization power is the ability of a cation to distort an anion (has to do ore with the cation) while polarizability is how an anion becomes polarized by a cation (has to do more with the anion). Still, I don't really understand how to tell which atoms have more polarizing power. Do we soley base our answer on the periodic table or is their another method and does anyone have an example that would help?

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