Problem: Why does hydrochloric acid have a higher boiling point than diatomic fluorine? a. The stabilizing effect of dipole interactions in hydrochloric acid is high. b. Hydrochloric acid is a larger molecule. c. Fluorine is a larger molecule. d. Hydrochloric acid is polar whereas fluorine is non-polar. e. Hydrochloric acid has high intermolecular forces whereas fluorine has low intermolecular forces.

FREE Expert Solution

Recall that there are several types of intermolecular forces (IMF):

1. Ion-dipole interaction – occurs between an ion and a polar covalent compound; strongest IMF

2. Hydrogen bonding – occurs in compounds where hydrogen is directly connected to an electronegative element such as N, O, or F; 2nd strongest IMF

3. Dipole-dipole interaction – occurs between two polar covalent compounds; 3rd strongest IMF

4. Dispersion forces – occurs in all compounds and is the primary IMF exhibited by nonpolar compounds; weakest IMF


Compounds with strong intermolecular forces have high boiling points. This is because they require more energy to be able to break the bonds during the phase transition.


So, we need to identify which among the given compounds has the strongest intermolecular forces.


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Problem Details

Why does hydrochloric acid have a higher boiling point than diatomic fluorine? 

a. The stabilizing effect of dipole interactions in hydrochloric acid is high. 

b. Hydrochloric acid is a larger molecule. 

c. Fluorine is a larger molecule. 

d. Hydrochloric acid is polar whereas fluorine is non-polar. 

e. Hydrochloric acid has high intermolecular forces whereas fluorine has low intermolecular forces.

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Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Intermolecular Forces and Physical Properties concept. If you need more Intermolecular Forces and Physical Properties practice, you can also practice Intermolecular Forces and Physical Properties practice problems.