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Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:12 pm
What does it mean for something to be radical and how is it relevant?

Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:59 pm
A radical is an atom or a molecule that has an unpaired valence electron such as fluorine or CH3. Radicals are generally very unstable and can cause harm to the body by denaturing macromolecules.

Posted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:44 pm
Most of our practice problems feature molecules with an even number of total valence electrons so that every electron is paired. But, radicals are different in that there can be a single unpaired electron in special cases. Usually in the real world, a radical is an incomplete molecule that finds an electron quickly to stabilize.

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 5:45 pm
Radicals are compounds with unpaired electrons (not octet in valence shell). They are highly reactive and unstable, and only exist for a short period of time.

An example would be $\cdot OH$ formed in the upper atmosphere when a photon hits a water molecule ($H_{2}O$)

$H-O-H \rightarrow H-O\cdot + \cdot H$

(Note that the oxygen atom in the $H_{2}O$ has a total of 2 unbound electron pairs, and the oxygen atom in the products has 1 unbound electron (making it a radical) and 2 unbound electron pairs).