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Lithium Oxide

Two lithium (Li) atoms can bond with one oxygen (O) atom, making the formula Li2O. Oxygen likes to have two additional electrons to make it happy. Each lithium atom provides one. You can see that the oxygen atom has eight electrons (6 of its own, and one from each lithium), and the two lithium atoms have two electrons each.

Li2o
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Li2o
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Li2O

What Happens When Elements Combine?

When several elements come together it is called a compound. Compounds can be made up of two atoms or hundreds of atoms. There are even compounds that have the same number of atoms, but have different shapes. Those compounds with different structures are called isomers.

No matter what atoms are in a compound, they all want to be "happy". A happy atom is one with the right number of electrons in the outer orbital (usually eight). That desire to be happy is why some elements only combine with a few other elements. Not all elements can make each other "happy".

To learn more about what makes an atom happy and how it picks other elements to combine with, just click... [Button: To Compound Details]


Lithium Fluoride

One lithium atom can combine with one fluorine (F) atom. Together, they make the formula LiF. Fluorine has seven electrons of it's own. Lithium gives up its one electron to make both atoms happy. So the fluorine atom has eight electrons, and a filled outer shell.

LiF
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LiF
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LiF

How Do Scientists Name Compounds?

Don't get confused when you look at the names of some of these compounds. The names may be long, but they all make sense. Scientists came up with a naming system for compounds that is very specific.

You will find that there are usually at least two words in a compound name. The first word describes the first part of the compound. The second word describes the last part of the compound.

Use H2S as an example. The name of the compound is hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen is for the H2 part of the formula. Sulfur is the second part so scientists say "sulfide". There is SULF, and then they finish the word with IDE. Most compound names end with IDE.

For the real dirt on naming just click... [Button: To Naming Details]

Different Kinds Of Bonds

You should know that even though there are two electrons involved in a bond, those electrons can be shared in different ways. Two types of bonds we will talk about are covalent and ionic (electrovalent) bonds.

Ionic/electrovalent bonds happen when electrons are given up by one atom to another. Covalent bonds happen when electrons are shared by both atoms.

If you want to learn more about bonds try this... Bonding Details



 
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