Recall that electrolytes are solutions that conduct electricity:
• Strong electrolytes: dissociate completely in water; include soluble ionic salts/compounds, strong acids, and bases
• Weak electrolytes: doesn’t dissociate completely in water; include weak acids and bases
• Nonelectrolytes: doesn’t dissociate at all; include molecular compounds
Dissolution in water. (a) When an ionic compound, such as sodium chloride, NaCl, dissolves in water, H2O molecules separate, surround, and uniformly disperse the ions into the liquid. (b) Molecular substances that dissolve in water, such as methanol, CH3OH, usually do so without forming ions. We can think of this as a simple mixing of two molecular species. In both (a) and (b) the water molecules have been moved apart so that the solute particles can be seen clearly.
Which solution, NaCl(aq) or CH3OH(aq), conducts electricity?
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