Question Video: Identifying the Statement That Best Describes the Structure of Sodium Chloride | Nagwa Question Video: Identifying the Statement That Best Describes the Structure of Sodium Chloride | Nagwa

Question Video: Identifying the Statement That Best Describes the Structure of Sodium Chloride Science

The picture shows a model of sodium chloride. Which of the following statements best describes the structure of this ionic compound? [A] Part of a giant lattice of alternating atoms [B] Part of a giant lattice of oppositely charged ions [C] A giant molecule of 27 atoms [D] A giant molecule of 27 oppositely charged ions [E] Part of a giant lattice of alternating sodium atoms and chloride ions

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Video Transcript

The picture shows a model of sodium chloride. Which of the following statements best describes the structure of this ionic compound? (A) Part of a giant lattice of alternating atoms. (B) Part of a giant lattice of oppositely charged ions. (C) A giant molecule of 27 atoms. (D) A giant molecule of 27 oppositely charged ions. (E) Part of a giant lattice of alternating sodium atoms and chloride ions.

For now, let’s clear away the answer choices to work on this question. First of all, an ionic compound forms when a metal element reacts with a nonmetal element. Sodium chloride forms when sodium metal reacts with the nonmetal element chlorine. In the name of an ionic compound, the ending of the nonmetal element is changed to “ide.”

When an ionic compound forms, metal atoms tend to lose electrons and form positive ions. Nonmetal atoms tend to gain electrons and form negative ions. When sodium chloride forms, each sodium atom loses one electron from its outer energy level and forms a positively charged sodium ion. Each chlorine atom gains one electron in its outer energy level and forms a negatively charged chloride ion.

The oppositely charged sodium and chloride ions are attracted to each other and form an ionic bond. The oppositely charged ions combine to form a neutral compound. In this problem, the compound is sodium chloride, or NaCl. So we can define an ionic compound as a neutral compound composed of positively and negatively charged ions. Unlike covalent compounds, ionic compounds are not made of molecules. In an ionic compound, the positive and negative ions are arranged in a symmetrical repeating structure called a lattice.

Now, let’s bring the answers back up on screen to determine the correct answer. Answer choice (A) cannot be correct because a lattice structure is composed of ions, not atoms. Choice (E) is also incorrect because the lattice of sodium chloride contains sodium ions, not atoms, as well as chloride ions. Both choices (C) and (D) state that sodium chloride is a giant molecule. But we know that the structure of an ionic compound is a lattice made of ions, not a giant molecule. So these choices are both incorrect.

So the correct answer must be choice (B). The statement that best describes the structure of sodium chloride is choice (B), part of a giant lattice of oppositely charged ions.

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