Question #c39c4

1 Answer

This happens because zinc is higher on the activity series than copper.


The type of reactions you are asking about are called single replacement reactions.

#Zn(s) + Cu_SO_4 -> ZnSO_4 + Cu(s)# - this reaction will occur.

It happens because zinc has a higher activity than copper. I'll use an analogy to explain why this happens. The #SO_4^(2-)# ion decides that Zn is better looking than Cu, so it drops the copper in favor of hanging out with zinc.

#Cu(s) + Zn_SO_4 -> ZnSO_4 + Cu(s)# - there is no change here.

This happens because copper is lower on the activity series. To continue the analogy... the #SO_4^(2-)# is already paired with the better looking partner, so it stays put.

This video shows an experiment which proves that zinc has a higher activity than copper.

Hope this helps!