Synthesis Reactions

Imagine a group of your friends. It can be big or small, but it has to have at least two people who aren’t you. These two people, we’ll call them Na and Cl, have been mutually pining for each other for years. Yeah, you know exactly who I’m talking about. Imagine if they finally got together. You and your other friends have been betting on when they would get together, and you’ve won the bet.

couple-1427421_960_720
Definitely high schoolers – Pixabay

And now that they’re together, the memes can begin. “Get a room!” is frequently shouted. They get a ship name.

Don’t know what that is? It’s when two people who are romantically paired combine their names into a cute portmanteau. For example, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger could be “Ronmione” or “Hermon”. That sort of thing. For our example with your friends, let’s call them…hm…NaCl.

Familiar to you? I’ve tricked you. This was all a set up. Na stands for sodium, Cl stands for chlorine, and NaCl is the chemical formula for salt. I outlined a synthesis reaction using your friends as stand-ins for chemical symbols. The basic idea of a synthesis reaction is mashing two things together, and that is illustrated well by teenage relationships.

In case you need a clearer definition, a synthesis reaction is when a new chemical is formed from a combination of two or more elements/chemicals. The reactants, on the left side of the arrow, are usually pure elements, but can be multi-element chemicals that absorb the other reactants into one big happy family. The important part of a synthesis reaction is there being one product. Everything is synthesized together into one chemical. There can also be external forces working on the reactants to help with stubbornly nonreactive elements, like heat or intense pressure.

chemical_reaction_synthesis
Easy enough – Ducksters

But there will always be one product.

Want to see a synthesis reaction in action? Click on this heart that represents your friend’s loving union:

See you next time for the reverse reaction: messy break-ups!

 

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