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C2-1 : Bonding
Structure of the Atom
In an atom you will find three sub-atomic particles: protons, neutrons and electrons. We
can find both the protons and neutrons in the nucleus of an atom, and the electrons around
the nucleus in a number of energy levels (or "shells").

Protons are…

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There are a number of ways in which atoms can bond:

transferring electrons, called ionic bonding
sharing electrons, called covalent bonding

Ionic Bonding
With ionic bonding, atoms involved either gain or lose electrons to complete their outer
shell (achieving a noble gas structure), and in the process become ions. For…

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Covalent Bonding
The other way in which atoms may bond is via covalent bonding, which works by sharing
electrons, rather than transferring them around. Ionic bonding happens between a metal
and a non-metal, but covalent bonding occurs when two non-metals bond. Take hydrogren
gas, for example. Always written as H2,…

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layers. The outer electrons here can easily move around the structure, and it is said to have
a "sea" of free electrons. It is the strong electrostatic attraction between the positively
charged ions and the negative sea of electrons flowing around that hold the structure
together. This sea of electrons…

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Remember OILRIG:
Oxidation Is Loss of electrons;
Reduction Is Gain of electrons

An ionic solid will not conduct electricity because the ions are in a fixed position
A molten ionic compound will conduct electricity because ions are free to move
An ionic compound in solution will also conduct electricity


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The atoms in the giant structure of diamond (left) are held
together by extremely strong covalent bonds. It has some special properties which other
types of structure do not possess. It is very hard, has high melting/boiling points and is very
chemically unreactive.

Another type of giant is a fullerene,…

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Relative Atomic Masses
Because the masses of atoms are so tiny, we cannot work with them in chemical
calculations, so we use their relative masses instead of their real masses. We call these
relative atomic masses. For example, a standard carbon atom has six protons and six
neutrons ­ we…

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All we need to do is to (4 x 1) / 12 = 0.33
0.33 x 100 = 33%

Empirical Formulae
If you are given the percentage formula of an element in a compound, we can work
backwards and find the ration between the atoms in the compound. We call…

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In this case, 5g = (5 ÷ 24) moles of magnesium and so it will produce:
(5 ÷ 24) x 40g = 8.33g of MgO
We can also do it by calculating the proportion of the amounts from the equation:
5 x (80 ÷ 48)g = 8.33g of MgO


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The Haber Process
We use a special process to make ammonia, called The Haber Process. This ammonia can be
used to make fertilisers and other commercial chemicals. There are two reactants in the
- nitrogen from the air, and,
- hydrogen (usually obtained from natural gas)
These reactants are…




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