Welcome Back!

Welcome back everyone for a new school year.  I hope everyone had a productive summer!  Over the summer, I took and passed both the chemistry and biology Praxis exams, making me one step closer to achieving my Ohio Educator License.  My final step is to complete Ohio’s pedagogical training institute online.  I am planning on completing this final step over the next year, in between teaching at Lakeland Community College and giving birth to my third child in February.

This year, I will once again be tutoring chemistry, biology and math (up to and including pre-calculus).  I am also expanding my tutoring subjects and would be happy to tutor your son and daughter in introductory physics.  Last year I began tutoring physics and would like to continue this year.  As with all my students, I promise that if there is any question that I can not answer for your son or daughter, I will post a complete answer to your question on my website within 24 hours.  For tutoring please contact me via email.

As for today’s lesson, I wanted to touch on allotropes.  This was a question I had on my summer praxis exams and thought it was an interesting starting point for the year.

Allotropes are different molecular configurations of a single element.  The atoms of a single type of element can be arranged in different patterns yielding different physical properties.  Let’s look at two examples.

The first example is carbon.  Two allotropes are graphite (which is found in your pencil tips) and diamonds.  Both are made of a single type of element, carbon.  But the molecular arrangement of those carbon atoms yields different properties.  For example, graphite is a conductor of electricity whereas diamonds are  an incredibly hard substance.

Another example is phosphorous.  Phosphorous can be either red or white depending on the molecular configuration.  White phosphorous has 5 covalent bonds connecting four phosphorous atoms in a tetrahedral form.  When heated, white phosphorous can become red phosphorous.  This is when one covalent bond forming the tetrahedral breaks and instead combines with nearby tetrahedrals to form a large networks of atoms.  Again different physical properties are displayed by both types of phosphorous.

 

Here are some links to more information:

http://www.nanoscienceworks.org/nanopedia/carbon-allotropes

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