Day 7 Pre-Class Podia Problem: Chemical Combinations

This Podia problem is based on today’s pre-class material as well as material from previous days; working through that material will help you solve the problem.

When nonmetals combine with other nonmetals, compounds form with subscripts that are small whole numbers, such as CO and CO2. When metals combine with nonmetals, formulas of compounds are analogous, such as FeCl2 and FeCl3. When metals combine with other metals, however, they form alloys, substances that have metallic properties but can consist of many different compositions. For example, sodium and potassium can form alloys in which the ratio of sodium atoms to potassium atoms varies from all sodium to all potassium. Thus, if you wrote a formula for sodium-potassium alloy as NaxK, x could have any value from zero to infinity.

Think about why metals should be different in this way. Then write an explanation for the different behavior.

Two days before the next whole-class session, this Podia question will become live on Podia, where you can submit your answer.

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Chemistry 109 Fall 2021 by John Moore, Jia Zhou, and Etienne Garand is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.