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Tutorial Index

Introduction to Elements, Atoms, Molecules,
Compounds and Chemical Bonding

Metals, Non-metals and Compounds
Non-metal Radical Groups
Names of Acids and other compounds
Introduction to Chemical Reactions, the
Rules and the products of a reaction

Types of Chemical Reactions I
Types of Chemical Reactions II
Introduction to the Periodic Table
Using Chemical Formulae
Balancing Chemical Equations

The Chapters Index

 

The table below shows the number of bonding arms for ten of the atoms you will be using in the chapters to follow.

Atom

Image

Number of Bonding Arms

hydrogen

Hydrogen atom

1

oxygen

Oxygen atom

2

carbon

Carbon atom

4

sulphur

Sulphur (sulfur) atom

2

nitrogen

Nitrogen atom

3

chlorine

Chlorine atom

1

aluminium

Aluminium atom

3

calcium

Calcium atom

2

potassium

Potassium atom

1

sodium

Sodium atom

1

 

 

Iron and Copper

Atom

Image

Number of Bonding Arms

iron II

Iron II

2

iron III

Iron III

3

copper I

Copper I

1

copper II

Copper II

2

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THE LANGUAGE OF CHEMISTRY

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Bonding "Arms"

The way in which atoms join together to form molecules depends on the number of bonding arms each atom has.

A hydrogen atom has one bonding arm (Bonding arm) while an oxygen atom has two bonding arms.

 

Hydrogen with bonding arm

A hydrogen atom has one bonding arm

Oxygen with bonding arm

An oxygen atom has two bonding arms

 

Rule : When atoms chemically combine to make molecules all of their bonding arms must be used.

When one oxygen atom joins its bonding arms with two hydrogen atoms, as shown below

Making a water molecule

a molecule of water is formed

A water molecule

The table (top left) shows the number of bonding arms for ten of the atoms you will be using in the chapters to follow.

 

Iron and Copper

Iron usually uses two bonding arms to make compounds but it can sometimes use three.

Likewise, copper usually uses two bonding arms to make compounds but it can sometimes only have one.

This is not a problem because you will always be told how many bonding arms the iron or copper atom is using.

 

iron II

the iron atom is using two bonding arms

iron III

the iron atom is using three bonding arms

copper I

the copper atom is using one bonding arm

copper II

the copper atom is using two bonding arms

 

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