Question 4.39  [ENDORSED]

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Annah Khan 1B
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Question 4.39

Postby Annah Khan 1B » Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:58 pm

"White phosphorus, P4, is so reactive that it bursts into flame in air. The four atoms in P4 form a tetrahedron in which each P atom is connected to three other p atoms. (a) Assign a hybridization scheme to the P4 molecule. (b) Is the P4 molecule polar or nonpolar?"

I successfully figured out part (a), but I'm having trouble with part (b). Would P4 be polar or nonpolar? And why? Thank you in advance!

Dabin Kang 1B
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Re: Question 4.39

Postby Dabin Kang 1B » Sat Jul 22, 2017 10:52 pm

P4 is nonpolar because the 4 P atoms are arranged about a center of symmetry and they have the same electronegativity.

Kevin Liu 3G
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Re: Question 4.39  [ENDORSED]

Postby Kevin Liu 3G » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:19 pm

If it helps, think of each P atom, with equal electronegativity, tugging in 4 directions which equals out the net force thus making the molecule non polar. It's essentially an electron tug of war with everyone of the same strength.

Camille 4I
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Re: Question 4.39

Postby Camille 4I » Sun Nov 24, 2019 3:46 pm

How do the 4 phosphorus atoms form a tetrahedral? Wouldn't they form a trigonal planar shape?

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Re: Question 4.39

Postby brennayoung » Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:26 am

Why does P4 have the hybridization of sp3 and not sp2?

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