Date: Tue, 05 Nov 2002 15:42:42 -0500

Author: "John L. Hubisz"

Subject: Re: Diatomic elements - Reply

Post:

There is no such thing as a "diatomic element". I run across this sort of
language in elementary textbooks where the writers do not know the
difference between atoms and molecules and regularly confuse the hydrogen
atom and the hydrogen molecule and similar situations with oxygen,
nitrogen, and other diatomic molecules made from the same element. As to
the number seven, I expect someone is listing these with fluorine,
chlorine, bromine, and iodine, forgetting astatine which do form such
molecules regularly. Actually, one finds many others under unusual
conditions in interstellar space and on comets, etc.

John

At 07:54 PM 11/5/2002 +0000, you wrote:
>'Just curious, does anybody know why there's only 7 diatomic elements-- I
>couldn't answer this question...
>
>Erik Herman
>University of Arizona
>College of Science
>Teacher Prep Program

John L. Hubisz, Physics Department, Box 8202, North Carolina State
University, Raleigh NC 27695-8202; hubisz@unity.ncsu.edu, (919)515-2515,
(919)515-7331 FAX

http://www.science-house.org/middleschool/

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