Why Does Salt Dissolve in Water?

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The principles behind salt dissolving in water are the types of bonds that exist in the molecules and the interactions that these bonds have. Find out how water pulls apart salt molecules and ionic bonds with help from a science teacher and field biologist in this free video on chemistry.

Part of the Video Series: Biology & Organic Chemistry
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Brian with ericksontutoring.blogspot.com. Today we're going to discuss why salt dissolves in water. So the main principles behind this are the types of bonds that exist in those two molecules and the interactions that they have in turn. So, salt, your normal table salt is made of sodium and chlorine and it's an ionic substance. So they actually don't share the electrons, one completely steals it from the other. So sodium ends up being positively charged and chlorine ends up being negatively charged. So they exist as ions. And then water is a polar substance with partially charged ends. The oxygen tends to, basically the electrons are unequally shared between hydrogen and oxygen. The oxygen tends to hog them a little bit which makes them partially negative, and the hydrogen tends to donate and makes it partially positive. Sodium and chlorine interact with each other so that sodium is positively charged and chlorine is negatively charged. They tend to form structures and salts in the way that they just build off of each other. Whereas water tends to unequally share its electrons making the oxygen partially negative and the hydrogen partially positive. What happens is the partially negative charge on oxygens of water interact with the positive charge of the sodium ion. So they're attracted to each other. And at the same time, the partially positive charge on hydrogen part of water interacts with the negative charge of chlorine. So as the oxygen is interacting with the sodium and the hydrogen is interacting with the chlorine, water tends to pull apart the salt molecules, pulls apart the ionic bonds. it pulls apart the ionic bonds. So, this has been a brief discussion of why salt dissolves in water.

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