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Spectator ions exist in the same form on both the reactant and product sides of a chemical reaction. They are present in solutions but don't take part in a solution's chemical reaction. The alkali metals of the first column of the periodic table and the halogen gases from the second to last column of the periodic table are groups of elements that provide spectator ions.
I know usually you can just determine spectator ions based on the ions that are not present in the reaction formula where you only write the ions that contribute to the actual reaction that occurs. Will we have to know how to identify them for the final/ write out these equations?
Usually I'd look for the ions that stay in the same state of matter/that repeat on the reactant and products side of the reaction. For instance, if you have Na+(aq) on one side and Na+(aq) on the other, it is a spectator ion. However, if you have Na+(aq) and NaF(s) on the other, it would not be a spectator ion.
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