|MadSci Network: Chemistry|
Dear User, The fact that you are asking this question indicates significant gaps in your general knowledge of chemistry and physics. While not particularly alarming in itself (many people pass high school without knowing any chemistry or physics), this may be an indicator that some time spent in library would do you a power of good. Please note that chlorine gas is NOT Cl but Cl2 and sodium chloride (table salt) is NOT NaCl2 but NaCl. Reactive elements are so reactive precisely because their higher orbitals either have an abundance of electrons which they are willing to share (alkali metals for instance) or lack of electrons which they are willing to accept (halogens for instance). When these elements react, they form stable products which have lower 'chemical energy' (the extra energy is usually released as heat) than the reagents and thus are less reactive, less violent etc. Molecular structure of NaCl does not 'affect' its properties - it DEFINES them. NaCl does not preserve any of the properties of the elements from which it is formed (in this case Na metal and Cl2 gas for instance) instead it has a distinct set of chemical properties typical of salts. In sodium chloride, both Na and Cl atoms are polarized (ionized) unlike in the starting compounds where the atoms are neutral. It would help you if you look up the definition of 'atom' 'element' and 'chemical compound' using for instance encyclopedia britannica (online or hardcopy). In order to answer your question completely, I would have to quote entire several first chapters of any basic chemistry textbook. Rather than doing so, I would like to once again direct you towards the library where you may find an abundance of textbooks with detailed introductions into general chemistry. Hope it helps, A.G.E.
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