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Dissociation Of Salts

Salts are the product of the neutralization reaction between an acid and a base (the other product of this neutralization reaction being water). Salts that are soluble in water dissociate into their ions and are electrolytes. Salts that are insoluble or only slightly soluble in water form very few ions in solution and are nonelectrolytes or weak electrolytes. Sodium chloride, NaCl, is a water-soluble salt that dissociates totally in water.

The process by which this takes place involves the surrounding of each positive sodium ion and each negative chloride ion by water molecules. Water molecules are polar and have two distinct ends, each with a partial positive or negative charge. Since opposite charges attract, the negative end of the water molecule will face the positive sodium ion and the positive end will face the negative ion. This process, illustrated in Figure 1, is known as solvation.



Carafoli, Ernest, and John Penniston. "The Calcium Signal." Scientific American 253 (November 1985).

Ezzell, Carol. "Salt's Technique for Tickling the Taste Buds." Science News 140 (November 2, 1991).

Louis Gotlib

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Direct Variation to DysplasiaDissociation - Dissociation Of Water, Dissociation Of Acid And Bases, Dissociation Of Salts