Problem: Which would you expect to have a higher melting point: sodium chloride, NaCl, or cesium chloride, CsCI? Why? A. The cesium chloride has a higher melting point because larger ions of the same charge are able to attract more ions of the opposite charge. B. The cesium chloride has a higher melting point because its ions are smaller, which makes the charges more dense. C. The sodium chloride has a higher melting point because of the greater charges of the ions, and hence the greater force of attractions between them.D. The sodium chloride has a higher melting point because its ions are smaller, which allows oppositely charged ions to get closer.

FREE Expert Solution

Recall that the melting point of a metal is related to its lattice energy

The lattice energy can be estimated using:


lattice energy=chargeatomic radius



This means the metal with the lowest lattice energy has the lowest melting point.


Since all of the given metals are from Group 1A, the charge is the same for all of them. 


Therefore, the lattice energy will just depend on the atomic radius:

higher atomic radius  lower lattice energy  lower melting point


Recall that the trend for atomic radius is as follows: it increases from right to left and down a group in the periodic table.

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Problem Details

Which would you expect to have a higher melting point: sodium chloride, NaCl, or cesium chloride, CsCI? Why? 

A. The cesium chloride has a higher melting point because larger ions of the same charge are able to attract more ions of the opposite charge. 

B. The cesium chloride has a higher melting point because its ions are smaller, which makes the charges more dense. 

C. The sodium chloride has a higher melting point because of the greater charges of the ions, and hence the greater force of attractions between them.

D. The sodium chloride has a higher melting point because its ions are smaller, which allows oppositely charged ions to get closer.

Frequently Asked Questions

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 Lattice Energy concept. You can view video lessons to learn Lattice Energy. Or if you need more Lattice Energy practice, you can also practice Lattice Energy practice problems.