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The Language of Chemistry

Chemistry for Everyone!


Let's start with common table salt. Sodium chloride has a chemical formula of NaCl. This compound is made from sodium (atomic number = 11) and chloride ions (atomic number = 17). To locate these ions, use:

Mr. Science Teacher's® Periodic Table of Ions!



The key to the entire nomenclature is get to zero!


The sodium ion has a +1 charge and the chloride ion has a -1 charge.

+1 - 1 = 0

NaCl

Directly under sodium is the potassium ion, it also has a +1 charge. To form potassium chloride, we follow the same formula as above.

+1 - 1 = 0

KCl

To the right of potassium is the calcium ion, it has a +2 charge. To form calcium chloride, we need to get to zero by cancelling out one +2 calcium ion with two -1 chloride ions.

+2 - 1 - 1 = 0

CaCl2

Aluminum (atomic number = 13) has a +3 charge. To form aluminum chloride, we need to get to zero by cancelling out one +3 aluminum ion with three -1 chloride ions.

+3 - 1 - 1 - 1 = 0

AlCl3

Directly below the chloride ion in the Periodic Table of Ions is the bromide ion. Bromide has a -1 charge. Sodium bromide, potassium bromide, calcium bromide and aluminum bromide are found by similar methods outlined above. Namely, we need to get to zero!

NaBr

KBr

CaBr2

AlBr3

In the Periodic Table of Ions, the sulfide ion has a -2 charge. To form sodium sulfide, we need to get to zero by cancelling out two +1 sodium ions with one -2 sulfide ion.

+ 1 + 1 - 2 = 0

Na2S

What about water? The chemical formula for water is H2O. The ion table lists hydrogen as a +1 and oxide as a -2. To get to zero, we need two +1 hydrogen ions and one -2 oxide ion!

+1 + 1 - 2 = 0

H2O


It's really that EASY!!!



Use the method illustrated to make over 1000
chemical compounds by mixing positive
and negative ions using:

Mr. Science Teacher's® Periodic Table of Ions!


Try some on your own!

  1. Copper (I) Chloride; CuCl
  2. Copper (II) Chloride; CuCl2
  3. Copper (I) Oxide; Cu2O
  4. Copper (II) Oxide; CuO
  5. Copper (I) Nitride; Cu3N
  6. Copper (II) Nitride; Cu3N2



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