By T. A. H. Peacocke
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Additional info for Atomic Theory and Structure of the Atom. Atomic and Nuclear Chemistry
But it still has anomalous properties. Hydrogen fluoride is less volatile than hydrogen chloride whereas it should be more volatile. Like water it is associated through hydrogen bonding. The fluorides show anomalous solubilities. Thus calcium fluoride is insoluble and silver fluoride soluble, unlike the corresponding chlorides, bromides and iodides. Nitrogen trifluoride, as mentioned on page 24, is stable and very different in character from nitrogen trichloride. Though the other halogens are very reactive, fluorine is the most reactive element known, attacking every other element except the noble gases helium, neon and argon.
Thus argon and potassium, cobalt and The Classification of the Elements 27 nickel, tellurium and iodine are out of order. The properties of argon and potassium fix their relative positions and the same applies to a lesser degree for the other two pairs. Much effort was spent in redetermining the atomic weights of these elements in an attempt to reconcile them with the periodic law, but to no purpose. Their position remained anomalous until the discovery of atomic numbers as explained in Chapter 4.
When one element combines with a more electronegative element it is said to be oxidised. Reduction is the * J. E. Spice, Chemical Binding and Structure, Pergamon Press, 1964. The Classification of the Elements 23 opposite. Oxidation state may be defined as the number of atoms of hydrogen or fluorine or half the number of atoms of oxygen which will combine with one atom of the element. Elements can have negative oxidation states as well as positive oxidation states. When an element combines with a more electro-positive element (reduction) it is said to have a negative oxidation state.
Atomic Theory and Structure of the Atom. Atomic and Nuclear Chemistry by T. A. H. Peacocke