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vary, we should expect sometimes to find differences in the
properties of one and the same element.
the properties of sulphur and phosphorus shewed that each of
molecules of the elements.
The outcome of the experiments on the volume- and mass-
Therefore the atomic composition of the molecule of ozone is expressed by the symbol O3, that of the molecule of oxygen being expressed by the symbol o..
Oxygen and ozone are both colourless gases; oxygen is odourless, ozone has a very pronounced odour; ozone is a very energetic oxidiser, e. g. when passed into mercury at ordinary temperatures it produces mercuric oxide, and it interacts with lead sulphide (PbS) to produce lead sulphate (PbSO); oxygen does not react with an aqueous solution of potassium iodide (KI), ozone interacts with this salt in aqueous solution and produces potassium oxide, iodine, and oxygen; thus
2KIAq +0,= K,OAq+1, +0,The existence of the two kinds of molecules, 0, and Oy, 324 one diatomic and the other triatomic, each characterised by its own properties yet each composed of the same kind of atoms, and of atoms all of which are alike, shews that the properties of some molecules at any rate are conditioned (among other circumstances) by the number of atoms which are combined to form these molecules.
The other cases of allotropy (s. Chap. XI. par. 173) exhibited 325 by elements are exhibited by those elements in the solid state. The numbers of atoms in the atomic aggregates
compose the reacting weights of the different solid forms of phosphorus, sulphur, arsenic, &c. may perhaps be different; but we cannot at present decide whether this is so or not.
If the properties of a gas are dependent only on the 326 nature and number of the atoms which form the molecule of that gas, then the existence of more than one gaseous compound having a specified composition must be impossible. But, as a matter of fact, several compounds frequently exist, all having the same composition and the same molecular weight. For instance 3 compounds having the composition CH,, are known; these bodies have all been gasified; their specific gravities as gases, and therefore their molecular weights, are identical. But the molecule of each compound is composed of 5 atoms of carbon united with 12 atoms of hydrogen. Therefore we conclude that the properties of some gaseous molecules are conditioned by other circumstances besides the nature and number of their constituent atoms, and that one of these other circumstances probably is the arrangement of the parts of the molecule relatively to each other. The existence of more than one compound with the same M. E. C.
molecular composition is called isomerism. We shall return to this subject in the next chapter.
We now see how necessary it has become to widen our conception of chemical composition. Restricting ourselves to gases, we have found that there may exist more than one form of the same element—we have found for instance that there are two oxygens; we have also learnt that the same quantities of the same elements may be combined so as to produce different compounds; and that the same numbers of the same atoms may be combined so as to produce several kinds of molecules, each differing in properties from the others.
The properties of an element or compound are the properties of its molecules; the properties of these molecules are conditioned not only by the nature, but also by the number, of atoms which form them; but the properties of these molecules, it appears, are also probably conditioned by the relative arrangement of their parts.
This conception of the relation between chemical properties and composition helps us to understand, more fully than we could do before, the relations between the composition and the properties of such classes of compounds as acids, alkalis, and salts.
In Chaps. VIII, and ix. we learned that the compounds of hydrogen with oxygen and another negative element, or other negative elements, are generally acids, and that the compounds of hydrogen with oxygen and a markedly positive element are alkalis. We also found that the lower oxides of elements which are neither very markedly positive or negative are usually basic, but that the combination of more oxygen with such oxides produces acidic oxides.
We may now translate these statements into the language of the molecular and atomic theory, and say that molecules formed by the union of atoms of hydrogen and oxygen with atoms of negative elements interact, under proper conditions, with molecules of metals, basic oxides, or alkalis, and exchange some or all of their atoms of hydrogen for atoms of metal. We
that molecules composed of fairly positive atoms united with a small number of atoms of oxygen are ready to exchange their positive atoms for atoms of hydrogen when they interact with acids, under suitable conditions; but that molecules composed of many oxygen atoms united with a small number of atoms of fairly positive elements do not thus exchange their positive atoms for hydrogen, but
on the other hand are ready to interact with water to produce acids.
As few acids, alkalis, basic oxides, or salts, have been gasified, the term molecule is used in the foregoing paragraph to include the aggregates of atoms which form the reacting weights of solid bodies.
We know that acids may be classified in accordance with 329 their basicity (s. Chap. xi. pars. 188 and 189). Instead of the statement that an n-basic acid is an acid from the reacting weight of which n combining weights of hydrogen can be displaced by sodium or potassium under suitable conditions'; we may now say that the molecule of an n-basic acid contains n atoms of replaceable hydrogen.' It must be carefully noted that the term molecule is here used with a wider meaning than theory strictly justifies; it must be taken to mean that aggregate of atoms (this may or may not be a true molecule) which forms the reacting weight of an acid, &c. The account of the reactions of acids given in Chaps. x. and xi. shews what is meant by replaceable hydrogen. The compositions of a few acids and of some of the salts derived from them are presented in the following table; by considering the relations between the compositions of these acids and their salts, the student will be better able to grasp the meaning of the definition of the basicity of an acid which has been given. The formulae represent reacting atomic aggregates, which in some cases are probably true molecules. Acids.
Fe (H,0,0)., &c. In Chap. XII. we learned a little about the relative affinities 330 of acids. A comparison of the relative affinities of a series of acids the compositions of which differ only by the relative quantities of oxygen the acids contain brings out the fact, that the affinity-constants of the acids generally increase as the quantity of oxygen increases; thus the relative affinities of the three acids H,803, H,SO,, H,S, Os, are in the ratio 66 : 150 : 178. Again the replacement of hydrogen by a strongly negative
element such as chlorine is attended with an increase in the affinity-constants; thus the relative affinities of the acids H.CO2, H CIC,O,, H,C1,C,0,, HCI,C,0, (acetic, monochloracetic," dichloracetic, trichloracetic, acid) are in the ratio 51:38 : 76 : 79.
Increase of the number of oxygen atoms relatively to that of the other atoms forming the molecule of an acid is then frequently accompanied by an increase in the affinity of the acids. And similarly, an increase in the affinity accompanies the replacement of atoms of hydrogen by atoms of more negative elements, such as chlorine or bromine.
These facts concerning the connexion between the compositions and the properties of acids establish the existence of definite relations between the acidic or non-acidic character of compounds of hydrogen with oxygen and a third element, the basicities of acids, and the values of the affinity-constants of acids, on the one hand, and the nature, number, and probably the relative arrangement, of the atoms in the molecules of these compounds, on the other hand.
If we suppose that every atom in a molecule, or reacting atomic aggregate, is directly related in some way to a limited number of other atoms, then it appears that an atom of hydrogen which is directly related to strongly negative atoms is usually easily replaceable by atoms of positive elements; or, to use a shorter form of words, we may say that this atom of hydrogen performs an acidic function in the molecule, or is acidic. It also appears that an atom of hydrogen which is directly related to strongly positive atoms, e.g. atoms of potassium or sodium, is not acidic, that is cannot be replaced by the atoms of positive elements. But we are not yet in a position to discuss this subject of the connexion of properties with molecular structure otherwise than in the most general way (s. Chap. XVII.).
In Chap. xII. we made a slight examination of some of the circumstances which condition the course and final results of a chemical change. We then arrived at the conception of chemical equilibrium as the result of direct and reverse processes of change occurring simultaneously in the changing system (comp. pars. 233 to 236).
The general representation which the molecular and atomic theory puts before us of a system of substances free to act and react chemically for instance of a mixture in dilute aqueous solution of equivalent quantities of potash, soda, and nitric acid