The Battle of Bonds: Unveiling the Strongest Interparticle Forces among Sodium Chloride, Glycerine, Ethyl Alcohol, and Carbon Dioxide

Sodium chloride has the strongest interparticle forces of attraction among the substances listed.

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Sodium chloride, also known as table salt, has the strongest interparticle forces of attraction among the substances listed. This is due to the nature of its chemical bond and the arrangement of its particles.

Ionic substances, such as sodium chloride, form strong electrostatic forces of attraction between positively and negatively charged ions. Sodium chloride consists of positively charged sodium ions (Na+) and negatively charged chloride ions (Cl-). These ions are held together by strong electrostatic forces, creating a lattice structure.

As a result of these strong interparticle forces, sodium chloride has a high melting point of 801 °C and a boiling point of 1,413 °C. These temperatures indicate the amount of energy required to break the strong interparticle forces and transition the substance from a solid to a liquid or gas phase, respectively.

To further illustrate the strength of interparticle forces in sodium chloride, consider the quote by the American chemist Linus Pauling: “Ionic crystals are huge arrays of ions held together by attractive forces that operate in all three dimensions. These attractive forces are incredibly strong; it takes about twice as much energy to separate the ions in a salt crystal than it does to vaporize the salt.”

In contrast, the other substances listed have weaker interparticle forces of attraction compared to sodium chloride.

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Glycerine, also known as glycerol, is a viscous liquid with intermolecular forces that primarily involve hydrogen bonding and dipole-dipole interactions. These forces are weaker than the electrostatic forces in sodium chloride, leading to lower boiling and melting points.

Ethyl alcohol, or ethanol, is a volatile liquid with intermolecular forces that also involve hydrogen bonding and dipole-dipole interactions. While these forces are stronger than those in glycerine, they are still significantly weaker than the forces present in sodium chloride.

Carbon dioxide is a gas composed of covalently bonded carbon and oxygen atoms. It has relatively weak intermolecular forces known as London dispersion forces or van der Waals forces. These forces arise from temporary fluctuations in electron distribution and are weaker than any of the forces discussed above.

In summary, sodium chloride stands out among the listed substances as having the strongest interparticle forces of attraction. Its ionic nature and strong electrostatic forces form a lattice structure, resulting in high melting and boiling points. While other substances may exhibit weaker forces such as hydrogen bonding or van der Waals forces, they cannot match the strength of interparticle forces found in sodium chloride.


Substance Interparticle Forces of Attraction
Sodium Chloride Strong electrostatic forces (ionic)
Glycerine Hydrogen bonding, dipole-dipole
Ethyl Alcohol Hydrogen bonding, dipole-dipole
Carbon Dioxide London dispersion forces, van der Waals

In the YouTube video “Intermolecular Forces for NaCl (Sodium chloride),” the intermolecular forces present in NaCl are analyzed. NaCl is an ionic compound, since it consists of a metal (sodium) and a non-metal (chlorine). Ionic bonding occurs where sodium loses an electron to become positive, while chlorine gains that electron to become negative. This results in the formation of ions in NaCl. Due to the substantial difference in electronegativity between the ions, NaCl exhibits strong intermolecular forces. It is a solid crystal with a high melting and boiling point.

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Sodium ChlorideSince, Sodium Chloride is a solid among the four, thus, interparticle forces of attraction will be the strongest in it.

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