(Polar molecules, Non-polar molecules, etc.)

805098281
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:26 am

What does it mean for something to be radical and how is it relevant?

Ashley Zhu 1A
Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:16 am

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.

Cameron_Greenberg_3C
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:26 am

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.

Justin Haggard 1E
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:18 am

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).

Desiree1G
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:16 am
Been upvoted: 2 times

Radicals have at least one unpaired electron and they have an odd number of valence electrons. Note they're also very reactive

paytonm1H
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:18 am