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Problem: Reaction of copper metal with silver ion. When copper metal is placed in a solution of silver nitrate, a redox reaction forms silver metal and a blue solution of copper(II) nitrate.Why does this solution turn blue?

FREE Expert Solution

The given reaction is:

2 AgN3(aq) + Cu(s) → Cu(NO3)2(aq) + 2 Ag(s)

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Problem Details


A series of photographs shows the overall reaction of the reactants 2 AgNO3 (aqueous) plus Cu (solid) going to the products Ag(NO3)2 (aqueous) plus 2 Ag (solid). In the first photograph, a spiral of solid Cu is added to a clear solution of Ag+ and NO3- ions. In the second photograph, solid Cu is oxidized (loses electrons) and Ag+ (aqueous) is reduced (gains electrons). The solution has turned a pale blue. In the third photograph, Ag has attached to the copper spiral, which now appears thicker. Cu2+ and NO3- ions are in solution, which has turned a dark blue color.


Reaction of copper metal with silver ion. When copper metal is placed in a solution of silver nitrate, a redox reaction forms silver metal and a blue solution of copper(II) nitrate.

Why does this solution turn blue?

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