A 5 letter word for what sodium does to bond with chlorine to form table salt??

1 Answer
Mar 31, 2016

I don't think it matters so much that you get the right word, but if you get the thought process it should be enough.

Refer to the periodic table here:


A chlorine atom, with #Z = 17#, is one element to the left of the noble gas argon, so it desires (or wants, if 5 letters I guess) one electron. That way, it achieves a full octet, which is generally said to be favorable because all the valence electrons are occupying all the possible quantum states that they can.

On the other hand, a sodium atom, with #Z = 11#, is one element in front of the noble gas neon, so it wants to give (or gives, for 5 letters?) one electron away, e.g. to chlorine, to achieve its octet as well.

You should notice that these behaviors are opposite in direction yet complementary to each other; sodium can give away one electron, while chlorine wants one.

Hence, they willingly form #"NaCl"#, the soluble table salt we should use to flavor our food. You can think of a simple equation for this as:

#"Na"^(+) + "Cl"^(-) -> "NaCl"#