Polarizable vs polarizing power

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Malia Shitabata 1F
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Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:17 am

Polarizable vs polarizing power

Postby Malia Shitabata 1F » Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:53 pm

Is polarizability only used to describe anions and polarizing power only for cations? And if so, does this imply that anions have no polarizing power and cations are not polarizable?

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Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:17 am

Re: Polarizable vs polarizing power

Postby Jiyoon_Hwang_2I » Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:04 pm

Polarizable means an atom's electron cloud can be easily distorted by the strong pull of another atom. On the other hand, polarizing power means an atom has enough charge to cause distortion to another atom's electron cloud. I think it doesn't necessarily mean polarizability is only related to anions, but anions don't attract their outermost electrons as strongly as cations, which causes it to be more polarizable than cations.

Jessica Chen 2C
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Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:17 am

Re: Polarizable vs polarizing power

Postby Jessica Chen 2C » Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:51 pm

I think cations tend to be better at polarizing atoms than they are at being polarized, and vice versa for anions, which is why we tend to talk about cations in terms of their polarizing power and anions in terms of their polarizability. If cations have polarizability and anions have polarizing power, I'd assume it'd be pretty weak.

Caroline Zepecki
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Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:16 am

Re: Polarizable vs polarizing power

Postby Caroline Zepecki » Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:46 pm

Does distortion in regards to polarizability necessarily mean the ability to form octets? or just the ability to attract electrons from another atom's electron cloud

Nathan Rothschild_2D
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Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:15 am

Re: Polarizable vs polarizing power

Postby Nathan Rothschild_2D » Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:23 pm

So what would be the most polarizable element?

Tiffany Dong_4e
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Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:17 am

Re: Polarizable vs polarizing power

Postby Tiffany Dong_4e » Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:32 pm

These terms are used to describe the characteristics of ions. Polarizability is generally associated with anions and polarizing power with cations, but this isn't a steadfast rule by any means.

Libby Dillon - 1J
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2020 12:17 am

Re: Polarizable vs polarizing power

Postby Libby Dillon - 1J » Fri Nov 06, 2020 11:18 am

The term "highly polarizable" refers to highly distorted electrons. With electrons more drawn to the other bonded atom, an ionic bond with more covalent character is formed. "High polarizing power" refers to the ions that cause large distortions. They are very similar concepts, but refer to different pieces of the whole process.

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