Atoms & Molecules

A:

CO is the molecular formula for carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas, and continuous exposure to high concentrations of carbon monoxide can be fatal to both humans and animals.

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  • What is the basic unit of matter?

    Q: What is the basic unit of matter?

    A: An atom is the basic unit of matter. The atom is the basic building block of an element, and cannot be broken down further using any chemical means. An atom is made up of three particles: protons, neutrons and electrons.
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  • Why is helium important?

    Q: Why is helium important?

    A: Helium is important because it is widely used for its cooling properties, and it's particularly useful for manufacturing computer components. Helium is inert which prevents it from causing chemical reactions. It is also rare on Earth but common in the universe.
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  • What is the trend of density in the periodic table?

    Q: What is the trend of density in the periodic table?

    A: Elements become denser toward the bottom of the periodic table. From left to right on the table, elements become denser toward the center of the table and less dense on either end.
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  • What are the two most abundant elements dissolved in seawater?

    Q: What are the two most abundant elements dissolved in seawater?

    A: After hydrogen and oxygen, the two most abundant or "common" elements dissolved in seawater are sodium and chloride, which combine to form salt. The salinity of seawater is measured by grams of salt per liter of water, with a typical reading of approximately 35 grams per liter, or 35 percent.
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  • Why are ionic compounds soluble in water?

    Q: Why are ionic compounds soluble in water?

    A: Most ionic compounds are soluble in water because the electrostatic forces of the polar water molecules are stronger than the electrostatic forces keeping the ions together. There are several exceptions, however, where the electrostatic forces between the ions in an ionic compound are strong enough that the water molecules cannot separate them. Despite these few limitations, water's ability do dissolve ionic compounds is one of the major reasons it is so vital to life on Earth.
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  • Is nitrogen heavier than air?

    Q: Is nitrogen heavier than air?

    A: Nitrogen is the major constituent of Earth's atmosphere, so it is, in a way, exactly as heavy as air. Though nitrogen makes up the bulk of the atmosphere by volume, almost 21 percent of the air is composed of molecular oxygen. To determine nitrogen's weight relative to air, it is important to determine whether the nitrogen in the atmosphere is lighter or heavier than the oxygen.
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  • What makes a penny change color?

    Q: What makes a penny change color?

    A: Pennies become dull or change color with prolonged exposure to air because they are made of copper, which reacts to the presence of oxygen by forming copper oxide. Copper oxide is blue-green and has a common name of "verdigris."
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  • How much hydrogen is in the air?

    Q: How much hydrogen is in the air?

    A: Only 0.000053 percent of air is composed of hydrogen, making it the ninth most prevalent gas in the air. Nitrogen takes the lead, making up 78.084 percent of air, more than one million times more space than hydrogen. Oxygen also makes up a large part of air at 20.947 percent.
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  • Why is graphite used in pencils?

    Q: Why is graphite used in pencils?

    A: Graphite is used in pencils because of its ability to leave gray marks on paper. It was originally thought to be a form of lead.
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  • What is the Lewis structure for ozone?

    Q: What is the Lewis structure for ozone?

    A: The Lewis dot structure for ozone is an O with four dots connected to an O with two dots and a plus sign by two lines. The equation ends with an O featuring six dots attached by a singular line to the other oxygen symbols.
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  • What is the latent heat of condensation?

    Q: What is the latent heat of condensation?

    A: The latent heat of condensation is the energy released when water vapor condenses into water droplets. The process is most readily observed in atmospheric clouds in thunderstorms. According to USA Today, a storm maintains its intensity as thunderclouds release this latent heat.
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  • What is the chemical formula for gold?

    Q: What is the chemical formula for gold?

    A: The chemical formula for gold is Au, which is its periodic table symbol. The symbol comes from the Latin word for gold, "aurum."
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  • Who discovered protons, electrons and neutrons?

    Q: Who discovered protons, electrons and neutrons?

    A: The discoveries of electrons, protons and neutrons were made by J. J. Thomson, Ernest Rutherford and James Chadwick respectively. They were staggered over a period of 35 years.
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  • What elements make up table salt?

    Q: What elements make up table salt?

    A: Table salt is an ionic compound composed of the elements sodium and chlorine, in equal proportions. The chemical symbol for this compound is NaCl, and it is an essential nutrient for human beings and many other animals.
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  • What is the chemical formula for limestone?

    Q: What is the chemical formula for limestone?

    A: Pure limestone is made up of two component minerals: calcium carbonate and calcium-magnesium carbonate. The chemical formula for calcium carbonate is CaCO3. The chemical formula for calcium-magnesium carbonate is CaMg(CO3)2.
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  • What is the electron configuration of arsenic?

    Q: What is the electron configuration of arsenic?

    A: The electron configuration of arsenic is [Ar] 4s2 3d10 4p3. It exists in many forms. Allotropes of arsenic are yellow, black and gray, according to About.com. The gray allotrope is the most common form of elemental arsenic and a conductor of electricity. In the other colors, arsenic is a poor conductor of electricity.
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  • Why do helium balloons float?

    Q: Why do helium balloons float?

    A: Helium balloons float because they are less dense than the surrounding air, which causes them to rise. Gravity acts on helium balloons the same way it does on the surrounding air; it has no effect on whether the balloon floats or not. It all comes down to relative densities.
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  • What is the softest metal?

    Q: What is the softest metal?

    A: Cesium is the softest metal on Earth. In fact, the metal is so soft, it is possible to cut it with a butter knife. Additionally, cesium melts at a relatively low temperature of 28.4 degrees Celsius (83.12 degrees Fahrenheit). Gold, silver and copper are other malleable metals considered "soft," but they are much harder than cesium.
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  • What is a radioactive element?

    Q: What is a radioactive element?

    A: A radioactive element does not have any stable isotopes, which means it may spontaneously degenerate. Radioactive elements include uranium, curium and thorium.
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  • What is made out of copper?

    Q: What is made out of copper?

    A: While humans use copper in many ways, one of the most important is for the piping systems in homes and businesses. Copper provides a long-lasting material that does not rust. It ensures that the water supply in a home remains safe for human consumption. Copper pipes carry the refrigerants in heating and cooling systems to keep homes comfortable.
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  • What is molecular gastronomy?

    Q: What is molecular gastronomy?

    A: Molecular gastronomy is a culinary discipline that involves using scientific knowledge and chemical reactions to create food. It involves the utilization of centrifuges, liquid nitrogen, dehydrators, ultrasounds and other techniques and equipment to prepare food.
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