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Author Topic: Molecular Geometry of Carbon Monoxide  (Read 14368 times)

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spoudyal3

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Molecular Geometry of Carbon Monoxide
« on: December 06, 2005, 08:36:20 PM »

Alright, I say that carbon monoxide is a diatomic molecular and has no molecular geometry. My AP Chemistry teacher says that because it is a molecule it must have so geometry. Also, if there are only two atoms in a molecule then it must have a linear geometry. I have scanned through my chemistry book (Chemistry 6th edition by Zumdahl) for anything that might help. I could not find anything that could help my side or the other (however, it seems that Zumdahl would agree with me). I have asked around and most people just say that since there are only two atoms in the molecule the geometry is automatically linear. This is not satifying at all. Only two people (both the smartest of chemistry students) have agreed with my "no geometry theory." This is not just for a mere point, I do not try to contradict everything my teacher says, I really like her and we ofter discuss chemistry every other day during snack (nearly impossible for her to be wrong because she is just purely genius and she has shown me that there are just something that she must teach me even though they are not accepted in the chemistry community). I have stated my opinion and even though it goes completely against what my teacher and the vast majority of AP chemistry students say, I believe I am correct. Please do not just agree with one side or the other. If it goes against my opinion please give more than what my teacher and fellow students have already stated and/or please elaborate on the simple statements (molecules must have structure, 2 atoms = linear structure). If you agree with my opinion please give me more than, "carbon monoxide is diatomic so it does not have a molecular geometry." I need something that will convince my teacher and any resources would be a blessing. Thank you for reading everything!
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Yggdrasil

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Re:Molecular Geometry of Carbon Monoxide
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2005, 08:51:48 PM »

If you connect any two non-identical points in space, the only structure they form is a line.  You can also make arguments based on the symmetry of carbon monoxide and that its properties are consistent with a C(inf)h point group which only occurs for linear molecules (but this is out of the scope of AP chem).

Also, how do you define "no geometry"?
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spoudyal3

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Re:Molecular Geometry of Carbon Monoxide
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2005, 06:45:47 PM »

Hmmm... the C(inf)h point group sounds like it would definitely support (probably put a permanent seal on the matter) the arguement that carbon monoxide is a linear molecule. Could you tell me more about it. I do not care if it is beyond the scope of AP chemistry. I am sure that my chemistry teacher knows all about it and I do not want to take the idea to her completely ignorant of what it truly means. If you have an online resource that you know discusses this topic please give that too. Thank you.

"Also, how do you define "no geometry"?"
-Yggdrasil

Hmmm... Well the question asked me about the three most stable oxides for carbon (CO,CO2,C3O2).

:C---O:
(thats a triple bond, you already know this of course)
No molecular structure for the diatomic CO molecule.
C is sp hybridized

::O--C--O:: (I know the lone pairs of electrons are not drawn this way and that double bonds are formed)
CO2 is a linear molecule
C is sp hybridized

::O--C--C--C--O:: (all double bonds again and same deal with the lone pairs)
C3O2 is a linear molecule
C is sp hybridized (all central carbon atoms are sp hybridized, I know you know)

That is the exact way I worded the answer for carbon monoxide. The only difference between what I originally posted was that here I said that it has no "molecular structure."

By-the-way. I understand what you mean by the two non-identical points in space. It's not as though I automatically dismissed it or anything. Thanks again.
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Albert

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Re:Molecular Geometry of Carbon Monoxide
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2005, 09:29:59 AM »

Your question sounds a little bit philosophical to me. And I like it.
Up to a certain point, everything has its own geometry: geometry stands for form, shape, spatial structure. YOU have a certain geometry (hope not pseudopyramidal :D), because you are made of matter, and your matter occupies a certain position in the universe, a part of it.
So, according to my point of view, everything in this universe has a geometry: you can call it (molecular) geometry, but also form, shape, structure. They are all synonyms. This is tantamount to saying that I have a certain physical, ontological geometry (or form).
To sum up, CO, as everything, has a (molecular) geometry: a linear one.  
« Last Edit: December 09, 2005, 09:40:15 AM by Albert »
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spoudyal3

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Re:Molecular Geometry of Carbon Monoxide
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2005, 04:31:43 PM »

Love the answer Albert. I am going to go to my teacher on Monday and tell her my new position on the question. Thanks to both of you for your answers. I just have one small question now. It applies to this topic so I do not think I need to post a new topic.
Well, I did some research on point group symmetries because Yggdrasil mentioned it. From what I have learnt now, carbon monoxide would not have a C?h point group, actually I do not see how it exists, but a C?v point group. Maybe you were refering to D?h which would be true for CO2. If what I say is completely wrong please tell me. Please shed some light on this, I would appreciate the clarification. Thank you.
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Yggdrasil

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Re:Molecular Geometry of Carbon Monoxide
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2005, 11:39:15 PM »

Yes, you are right, it's point group is C(inf)v, not C(inf)h (which does not exist).
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spoudyal3

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Re:Molecular Geometry of Carbon Monoxide
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2005, 02:58:47 PM »

Ok, thank you Yggdrasil. I think that finalizes all the questions I have on this topic. Thanks again everyone!
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