Page images

moon, the planet Uranus, and the Scandinavian deity Vanadis, respectively). The names of the more recently discovered metals all end in um.

The name given to a compound expresses the qualitative 144 composition of that compound; if more than one compound of the same elements is known, names are given indicative of the relative quantities of the elements which unite to form reacting weights of the compounds.

The name of every compound of two elements ends in ide. Thus all compounds of oxygen with one other element are called oxides. The variety of oxide is indicated by prefixing

. the name of the element united with oxygen; thus we have iron oxides, zinc oxides, sulphur oxides, &c.

Similarly we have sulphides, i.e. compounds of sulphur with one other element; chlorides, i.e. compounds of chlorine with one other element; bromides, fluorides, hydrides, &c. &c. We say hydrogen oxide, hydrogen chloride, hydrogen sulphide; not oxygen hydride, chlorine hydride, sulphur hydride: oxygen, chlorine, and sulphur, are all more negative, or more nonmetallic, elements than hydrogen. The name of the more negative of the two elements of a binary compound is changed into a qualifying term ending in ide. Thus it is better to say oxide of chlorine-or chlorine oxide—than chloride of oxygen (or oxygen chloride).

When two oxides, chlorides, &c. of one element are known, the general custom is to form an adjective from the name of the element other than oxygen, and to modify the termination of this adjective so as to express that one compound is composed of more, or less, oxygen, relatively to a fixed mass of the other element, than the other compound is. A comparison of the following names with the composition of each compound as expressed by its formula will illustrate this method of naming pairs of oxides, &c. of the same element. Iron oxides

Sulphur oxides
Ferrous oxide Feo

Sulphurous oxide so

» Fe,Og. Sulphuric Chromium chlorides

Tin bromides
Chromous chloride CrCl,

Stannous bromide Sn Br,
CrCl. Stannic

Sn Br.
Copper sulphides
Cuprous sulphide Cu S

Cu S.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]





The termination -ous always indicates less of the nonmetallic or negative element than the termination -ic, relatively to the same mass of the metallic or positive element.

When more than two oxides, &c. of the same element are known, two methods of naming are adopted. Four oxides of bismuth are known. Their compositions, and the names given to each, are as follows :

Hypobismuthous oxide; or Bismuth dioxide Bi,
Bismuthous oxide; or Bismuth trioxide

Bio Hypobismuthic oxide; or Bismuth tetroxide

Bismuthic oxide; or Bismuth pentoxide

Five oxides of nitrogen are known :
Nitrous oxide; or Nitrogen monoxide NO
Nitric oxide

Nitrogen trioxide.
Nitrogen tetroxide NO

Nitrogen pentoxide NO One oxide gets the termination-ic; another, with relatively less oxygen, the termination -Ous; the prefix hypo-, is used to express relatively less oxygen than that of the -ic or -ous oxide. The prefix per- is sometimes employed to designate that oxide of a series which has relatively most oxygen.

Or the number of combining weights of oxygen in a reacting weight of each oxide is expressed by the prefixes mono, di, tri, &c.

Unfortunately neither system is very strictly carried out. We shall have further examples of each system as we proceed.

The composition of one oxide of a series is sometimes expressed by a name formed from the names of other two oxides of the series ; thus FeO is ferrous, FeO, is ferric, and Fe 0, is ferroso-ferric, oxide.

The name sesquioxide is frequently used; it implies that a positive element and oxygen are united in the ratio of 1:1} combining weights; thus Fe,O, is often called iron sesquioxide, Cr. O, chromium sesquioxide, &c.

Acidic oxides are sometimes named so as to indicate the acid obtained by interaction of each with water; thus SO,

is called sulphuric anhydride, because it interacts with water to produce sulphuric acid. On this system of naming, the term anhydride means an acidic oxide. Lastly an oxide, chloride, &c. is sometimes distinguished from another oxide, chloride, &c. of the same element by a term indicating some prominent








physical character, usually colour; thus one sometimes speaks of the brown oxide of chromium, the black, or the magnetic, oxide of iron.

The various systems of naming binary compounds are summarised in the following examples.

Sulphur oxides. SO

Sulphurous oxide; Sulphur dioxide; Sulphurous anhydride.

so, Sulphuric oxide; Sulphur trioxide; Sulphur peroxide; Sulphuric anhydride.

Chromium oxides.
Cro Chromous oxide.
Cr,O. Chromo-chromic oxide.

Cro Chromic oxide; Chromium sesquioxide; Green oxide of chromium.

Cro, Chromium dioxide ; Brown oxide of chromium.

Cro Chromium trioxide; Chromium peroxide; Chromic anhydride ; Red oxide of chromium.

The nomenclature of many compounds of three or more elements is based on the relations which exist between acids and salts. To each acid is given a name indicative, as far as possible, of its composition. Prefixes and terminations are used as in the naming of binary compounds. Thus all acids obtained by combining sulphur with hydrogen and oxygen are called sulphur acids; those formed by the combination of chlorine with hydrogen and oxygen are called chlorine acids; those produced by uniting nitrogen with hydrogen and oxygen are called nitrogen acids; and so on.

The following examples shew how one acid is distinguished
from others of the same series.
Sulphur acids.

Chlorine acids.
H SO, Hyposulphurous acid. HCIO Hypochlorous acid.
H SO Sulphurous

HCIO. Chlorous
H SO, Sulphuric

HCIO, Chloric

HCIO, Perchloric Nitrogen acids.

Phosphorus acids. HNO Hyponitrous acid.


Hypophosphorous acid. HNO. Nitrous

H PO, Phosphorous
HNO, Nitric

HPO Phosphoric



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]




[ocr errors]











The three acids H PO, HPO, H,P,, are all called phosphoric acid because they are all obtainable from the same oxide or anhydride, P.Os. The composition of the acid formed by the interaction of this oxide with water varies according to the relative masses of the interacting compounds, and the temperature; thus

(1) P,0, +HO (cold) = 2HPO,
(2) PO +2,0 (cold) =H.P.O,

(3) P,05 + 3H00 (hot) = 2H PO
That acid of the three from which the greater number of well
known and stable salts are obtained, viz. H,PO,, is called ortho-
phosphoric acid (optos = right or true); the acid HP, may be
obtained from H PO, by removing water (H PO,-H,O=HPO),
it is generally called metaphosphoric (meta implies change of
composition); the third acid H,P,0, may be produced by
heating H,PO, (2H,PO, heated =Å P,0, 71,0), it is called
pyrophosphoric acid.

The names of the salts obtained from a given acid by causing it to interact with metals, basic oxides, or alkalis, are derived from the name of the acid; each salt is distinguished from others by the name of the metal or metals which form part of its composition. Thus the salts obtained from sulphurous acid are called sulphites, those from sulphuric acid are called sulphates, and so on. Hypochlorous acid; HCIO. Chlorous acid; HClO,. KCIO Potassium hypochlorite.


Silver chlorite.
NaClO Sodium

Pb2CIÓ, Lead
Perchloric acid; HCIO,
Ba(CIO), Barium perchlorate.
RbCIO, Rubidium perchlorate.

Sulphuric acid; H SO,
Iron sulphates.

Mercury sulphates.

Ferrous sulphate. Hg, SO, Mercurous sulphate.
Fe 350, Ferric

Hgšo, Mercuric
Nitric acid; HNO,.
Tin nitrates.

Iron nitrates.
Sn2N0g Stannous nitrate. Fe2NO, Ferrous nitrate.

Fe3NO, Ferric These examples shew the use of the adjectival form of the name of the metal, and the meaning of the terminations -ous


[ocr errors]




[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

and -ic, in naming salts. A salt whose name ends in -ous is composed of less of the non-metallic elements, relatively to a fixed mass of the metal, than a salt of the same acid and the same metal whose name ends in -ic.

Ternary compounds (compounds of three elements) which 147 are not salts, as we are using this term, are generally named on the same principle as that which guides the nomenclature of binary compounds. Thus BioCl is called bismuth oxychloride; Bisci, bismuth sulphochloride ; HgBrl, mercury bromoiodide, or iodobromide.

The nomenclature of carbon compounds cannot be discussed 148 here; suffice it to say that a name is usually given to each class of these compounds and that the individual members of this or that class are distinguished according to their composition. Thus, as we have a large class of acids, so we have a class of carbon compounds shewing certain common properties and certain well marked analogies in composition called alcohols ; to another group of carbon compounds the name aldehydes is given; and so on.

M. E. C.


« PreviousContinue »