Problem: Rationalize the difference in boiling points for the following pair of substances:HF     20 ˚C                                     HCl     -85 ˚C

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We’re being asked to rationalize the difference in BP for HF and HCl


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


Higher BP = stronger IMF

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Problem Details

Rationalize the difference in boiling points for the following pair of substances:

HF     20 ˚C                                     HCl     -85 ˚C

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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.

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Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Holland's class at SDSU.

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Our data indicates that this problem or a close variation was asked in Chemistry: An Atoms First Approach - Zumdahl Atoms 1st 2nd Edition. You can also practice Chemistry: An Atoms First Approach - Zumdahl Atoms 1st 2nd Edition practice problems.