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Problem 127 Hard Difficulty

Ozone $\left(\mathrm{O}_{3}\right)$ is a strong oxidizing agent that can oxidize all the common metals except gold and platinum. A convenient test for ozone is based on its action on mercury. When exposed to ozone, mercury becomes dull looking and sticks to glass tubing (instead of flowing freely through it). Write a balanced equation for the reaction. What property of mercury is altered by its interaction with ozone?

Answer

The balanced equation for the reaction is
$$3 \mathrm{Hg}(1)+\mathrm{O}_{3}(\mathrm{g}) \longrightarrow 3 \mathrm{HgO}$$
When exposed to ozone, mercury stick to glass tubing because the surface tension of $\mathrm{HgO}$ is less. HgO has weaker cohesive forces than mercury.

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Video Transcript

Okay, so this problem tells us that it's an oxidation reduction reaction. So that means that we're going to be moving electrons round. So each of our oxygen's individual oxygen atoms is going. Teoh gain two electrons because oxygen is a stable ion when it has a charge of minus two. Meanwhile, each of our mercury each of our mercury atoms is going to lose two electrons because mercury is a state lion when it has the charge plus two. Okay, so now we just need So we're taking another look at oxygen. We know that we're dealing were not with We're not dealing with oxygen and a single oxygen atom by itself. Revealing with those are those own, which is 03 now. Each of those oxygen atoms needs to gain two electrons. That means that we need six electrons. Turn one molecule of 03 into three molecules of no tu minus. Now, we just need to make sure Okay, so we know how many oxygen's how many electrons we need to reduce oxygen ozone. Now we just need to take the same number of electrons away from mercury, so three mercury atoms will give us three mercury ions plus six electrons. Now we just and that equation to this equation, and I gives us the total equation. Six electrons plus ozone plus three atoms of mercury guilds, three Adams, three molecules of mercury oxide plus six electrons and the electrons. Just cancel out This right here is going to be our final equation. We've reduced everything as much as we can. We have gotten rid of the electrons balance those they cancel out, and all of our charges been balance out. Now the property that's changed is that mercury has gone from mercury as a metal. Do you Mercury as an ion? That means we've gone from a metallic crystal to an ionic crystal, and I on a crystals are brittle and, ah, don't flew freely like mercury. The liquid does. That's why it has different properties.