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Topic: Probably really basic dumb question  (Read 3391 times)

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Offline darkling235

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Probably really basic dumb question
« on: July 05, 2009, 07:32:35 PM »
Hey. I've been gone from chemistry class for about 8 years but periodically I try to learn something I don't know anything about, so I'm amusing myself following home chemistry books. That's all fine but what I'm missing and what I've found no books to discuss is how to tell what chemicals react and in what way they react. Example: Aluminum is +3 and Oxygen is -2. Fine.  I wouldn't really have expected them to react at all, but my book told me they did and experimental evidence informed me they did as well. It made a compound of Al2O3. I never could have predicted that with my admittedly minor chemical theory. Or take Carbon Monoxide. Mix carbon and oxygen you could get CO2 or CO. How can you tell which? How can you tell what chemicals will react at all and if so what compounds they will form?

I've asked this question before and people always tell me there's no simple answer. That's fine, I'm just looking for pointers to resources. I've read many books on this subject but nothing ever seems to cover the theory behind chemical reactions any further than the valence theory and shells. Can anyone tell me what the next level of complexity in valence theory is after 2 atoms want to have 8 valence electrons? Because using that theory and nothing else, I never could have predicted that Al and O would have bonded or the product that they would make but there must be some kind of theory or math that would have told me.

Any pointers to books or online resources would be greatly appreciated.

Offline enahs

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Re: Probably really basic dumb question
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2009, 11:49:45 PM »
Your Aluminum one would be covered in an inorganic chemistry book, where as your carbon oxygen one would be covered in an organic chemistry book.

It is as you said you have been told, complicated.

Offline Borek

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Re: Probably really basic dumb question
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2009, 04:00:48 AM »
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