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Super Common Mistake: Diatomic Elements

Super Common Mistake: Diatomic Elements
let me talk about a big question that a lot of people have with the

diatomic

elements

these are the

diatomic

elements

here there's seven of them and they're bromine iodine nitrogen chlorine hydrogen oxygen and fluorine now the

diatomic

elements

are special because you never find just one atom of a

diatomic

element on its own you always find them in pairs okay so you get BR 2 i2 n 2 and so forth the big idea here is safe for oxygen oxygen gas you never find just one oxygen atom floating
super common mistake diatomic elements
around you always find it paired up with another oxygen atom making a molecule with two oxygen atoms and that's otwo and that's what's floating around okay so after you learn about the

diatomic

elements

it can be kind of confusing when you run into formulas for chemical compounds like these okay all of these formulas contain

diatomic

elements

but there's only one atom of okay so here we have one oxygen atom one chlorine atom one nitrogen atom one bromine atom so can you see why
this is kind of confusing because here they're in pairs and here they're individual let me show you some comments I've gotten on my videos that Express this confusion okay one person asks how can h2o only have one oxygen atom I thought an oxygen was a

diatomic

element so you can't just have one you always have to have two okay now talking about LiBr here someone else asks wait shouldn't it be li BR 2 because bromine is

diatomic

so the atoms always need to come in pairs so
super common mistake diatomic elements
what's going on here how come the

diatomic

elements

we say that I have to come in pairs and then we write all these formulas where we only have one atom of a

diatomic

element these are great questions let's talk about this so here's a big thing that sometimes is like the missing piece for people's understanding with the

diatomic

elements

atoms of

diatomic

elements

only need to pair up if they're on their own and not connected to any other

elements

okay so let me show you what
I mean let's take nitrogen gas nitrogen gas is made of only nitrogen so we took a little sample of nitrogen gas and we zoomed in zillions and zillions of times to be able to see the atoms that make up nitrogen gas we'd see that the atoms are connected together in pairs of two okay this is what nitrogen gas would look like this is what the atoms in nitrogen gas look like we've got only nitrogen here the nitrogen atoms are paired up if we look at nitrogen gas we would not see something
super common mistake diatomic elements
like this where the nitrogen atoms would be floating around individually okay the same is true for liquid bromine which is made of only bromine we zoom in on a tiny little drop of liquid bromine and it looks like this the BR atoms are connected together in pairs it would not look like this with the BR atoms individual nitrogen and bromine have to pair up because these contain nitrogen gas liquid bromine contain only this element there's just nitrogen here there's just bromine here so the
atoms have to pair up but if

diatomic

elements

are connected to other

elements

they don't need to pair up right so that's how we can have h2o with just one oxygen atom because this oh it's not connected just to another oh but it's connected to two hydrogen's that's totally fine this chlorine here we can have one of it because it's connected not just to chlorine but to sodium as well and that's true these other ones so the big deal with the

diatomic

elements

don't forget this is that they only need to pair up if they're only connected to each other all right two nitrogens have to pair up two bro means have to pair up but if they're connecting to other

elements

they don't need to be in pairs so all of these chemical formulas are totally fine if there's another element in there don't worry about the pair only if that element is on its own