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Problem: The following plot shows the potential energy of two Cl atoms as a function of the distance between them.If the Cl2 molecule is compressed under higher and higher pressure, does the Cl-Cl bond become stronger or weaker?

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We are asked to determine what will happen to the Cl-Cl bond in Cl2 when it is compressed (pressure is increased) given the diagram:

A line graph has Cl-Cl distance (angstroms) on the X-axis, ranging from 0 to 6.0 with intervals of 2.0, and energy (kilojoules per mole) on the Y-axis, ranging from -300 to 200 with intervals of 100.  The line appears asymptotic to an energy of 0 as the distance increases beyond 6 angstroms. The following data values are approximate: Cl-Cl distance of 0.5 angstroms correlates to an energy of 100 kJ/Mol; 1 angstrom and -100 kJ/Mol; 2 angstroms and -230 kJ/Mol; 3 angstroms and -170 kJ/Mol; 4 angstroms and -85 kJ/Mol; 5 angstroms and -20 kJ/Mol; 6 angstroms and -20 kJ/Mol.

The diagram shows that at 2.0 Å Cl-Cl bond is formed.

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Problem Details

The following plot shows the potential energy of two Cl atoms as a function of the distance between them.

A line graph has Cl-Cl distance (angstroms) on the X-axis, ranging from 0 to 6.0 with intervals of 2.0, and energy (kilojoules per mole) on the Y-axis, ranging from -300 to 200 with intervals of 100.  The line appears asymptotic to an energy of 0 as the distance increases beyond 6 angstroms. The following data values are approximate: Cl-Cl distance of 0.5 angstroms correlates to an energy of 100 kJ/Mol; 1 angstrom and -100 kJ/Mol; 2 angstroms and -230 kJ/Mol; 3 angstroms and -170 kJ/Mol; 4 angstroms and -85 kJ/Mol; 5 angstroms and -20 kJ/Mol; 6 angstroms and -20 kJ/Mol.

If the Cl2 molecule is compressed under higher and higher pressure, does the Cl-Cl bond become stronger or weaker?

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What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Bond Energy concept. If you need more Bond Energy practice, you can also practice Bond Energy practice problems.