Home Current News News Archive Shop/Advertise Ridecamp Classified Events Learn/AERC
Endurance.Net Home Ridecamp Archives
[Archives Index]   [Date Index]   [Thread Index]   [Author Index]   [Subject Index]

Re: [RC] Magnesium Sulfate - Sisu West Ranch

Nope. Ionic solids (commonly called salts) do not exist as molecules that have a separate identity. There is not such thing as a molecule of MgSO4. When in the form of a crystal, it is an array of billions and billions of Mg+2 ions, and an exactly equal number of SO4-2 ions. When in the presence of water (in a jar, a cup, a plant or an animal) there are Mg+2 ions and SO4-2 ions. When the water is removed, and things go back to a solid MgSO4 crystals may form, but if as in all plants, and other animals the solids formed may be quite different depending in a complex way on the other salts around, and the details of the water leaving.

You may find crystals of MgCO3 (one of the magnesium ores I listed the other day) and Na2SO4 depending upon exactly what was around.

The opposite extreme are organic molecules that do have an identity. Common sugar is an example. Glucose is a compound made from a specific arrangement of 6 carbon atoms,12 hydrogen atoms and 6 oxygen atoms. It is always found as the molecule, even when dissolved. When the water is removed the original sugar crystals are reconstituted. (Please ignore the difficulty in convincing sugar to start crystallizing, this yields honey and has been the subject of PhD thesis).

By the way, completely ionic substances and completely molecular substances are the two ends of the spectrum. Lots of stuff is in-between. That is a fascinating part of chemistry, but we needn't get into that here.
Ed & Wendy Hauser
2994 Mittower Road
Victor, MT 59875

(406) 642-9640



Ridecamp is a service of Endurance Net, http://www.endurance.net.
Information, Policy, Disclaimer: http://www.endurance.net/Ridecamp
Subscribe/Unsubscribe http://www.endurance.net/ridecamp/logon.asp

Ride Long and Ride Safe!!