Equatorial vs Axial  [ENDORSED]

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Tylor McGrew 1J
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:03 am

Equatorial vs Axial

Postby Tylor McGrew 1J » Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:45 pm

I am confused on what the terms equatorial and axial mean and how they refer to the structure of the molecule.

Emma Boyles 1L
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:00 am

Re: Equatorial vs Axial

Postby Emma Boyles 1L » Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:50 pm

If you picture an octahedral style molecule:

The four atoms sticking out from the sides of the central atom are the equatorial atoms because they are on the equator of the molecule like the equator is around the middle of the Earth.

The axial atoms are the two atoms sticking above and below the central atom on an axis --> axial atoms.

Not all shapes have equatorial and axial atoms but another example of a shape with axial and equatorial atoms is trigonal bipyramidal.

Hope this helps!

Carlos Gonzales 1H
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:05 am
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Re: Equatorial vs Axial

Postby Carlos Gonzales 1H » Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:02 pm

Think of the molecule as a spinning top. The center of the spinner is the central atom and the tip of the spinner along with the tip the touches the floor are the "axial atoms". The rest of the atoms can be thought of as the "body of the spinner" which are the equatorial atoms

Michelle Dong 1F
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:04 am

Re: Equatorial vs Axial  [ENDORSED]

Postby Michelle Dong 1F » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:18 pm

Axial would basically be the line the runs from top to bottom, and equatorial would be anything that goes around the vertical line. Most of the time, when taking out bonds and replacing them with lone pairs, we take bonds from the equatorial position because the bond angles would be greater, giving the least amount of repulsion between the bonds and lone pairs.

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