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What's the difference between polarizability and polarizing power? Are they always associated with each other, or can one exist independently of another in an interaction? (ex. cations and anions)
The ability of a cation to distort an anion is known as its polarizing power. The tendency of the anion to become polarized by the cation is known as its polarizability. I believe they are always associated with one another and they go hand in hand.
Yes, and just to add on, for anions, if they have a larger electron cloud while the electrons are further away from the nuclear, they are more easily drawn away by a cation of high polarizing power, and they are more easily polarized. It is during the process of polarization that a highly polarizing cation could distort the electron cloud of a highly polarizable anion, so I think polarizability and polarizing power are relevant to each other as you have to look at each case.
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