Carbon is considered tetravalent because it has four electrons available to form chemical bonds with other elements. These electrons are called valence electrons and are located in the outermost electron shell.Continue Reading
Carbon is one of several tetravalent elements. The other elements are germanium, tin, silicon and lead. Together, the tetravalent elements form group 14 of the periodic table, which is the group of elements located in the 14th column. Unlike the other tetravalent elements, carbon is found in large quantities in living things. Carbon also has the ability to form more complex molecules than the other tetravalent elements due to its ability to form both double and triple bonds. Common carbon molecules include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and acetylene (C2H2).
Carbon is considered essential to the formation of many biological molecules. Its tetravalent nature gives it the ability to form DNA, carbohydrates and proteins that are necessary for many biological processes. The study of carbon compounds is known as organic chemistry.
Carbon's symbol is C, and its atomic number is 6. Its atomic weight is 12.011. The name carbon comes form the Latin "carbo," meaning charcoal. At room temperature, carbon exists as a black solid. Carbon's existence has been known since antiquity.Learn more about Atoms & Molecules
The bonds that hold the atoms in metals together are often described as being built upon metal ions that are floating in a sea of electrons. This is because the electrons in the outer shells, or valence shells, of metals are loosely held. The valence electrons are free to move from one atom to another.Full Answer >
Coordinate covalent bonds, also known as coordinate links or semipolar bonds, are different from normal covalent bonds because both of the electrons that are shared by the bonded atoms originally come from the same atom. This contrasts with normal covalent bonds, in which each atom gives up one of the two electrons that form the shared electron pair.Full Answer >
In nonpolar covalent bonds, electrons are shared equally by both members of the bond, but they are shared unequally in polar covalent bonds. Polar covalent bonds occur when there is a difference in electronegativity, or electron affinity, between covalently bonded atoms. The polarity, or lack thereof, of a molecule greatly affects how it interacts with other molecules.Full Answer >
A polar molecule is characterized by the uneven distribution of the electrons that form the covalent bonds between each atom in the molecule, resulting in a slightly positively charged side and a slightly negatively charged side. This occurs because of the differences in electronegativity between atoms of different elements.Full Answer >