Atmospheric ions are electrically charged particles which occur naturally in the atmosphere.

Assignment Title: 

The assignment for this unit is in two parts; for part one you are required to write an essay, and for part two you will need to deliver a short presentation. Both parts of the assignment are based on scenarios which have been provided. You are required to write an essay which covers scenarios 1, 2 and 3.

Scenario One:

You are working in a laboratory, and a series of samples is received which you are asked to identify. The samples are provided by an organization which does not have specialized chemistry knowledge, so your report should include significant information to enable them to understand how you have identified the samples, as well as an explanation of the basic structure of an atom. Through experimentation you discover that the samples have the following atomic numbers:

  • 9
  • 36
  • 47
  • 56
  1. You must explain the concept of ‘mass number’ and relative atomic mass’, and explain what the difference is between them.
  2. Finally, you have been asked to calculate the ‘nucleon number’ for each of these samples and explain what this means.

Scenario Two:

Consider the same four elements that you identified in scenario one. For each of these, you need to write their electron configurations in terms of s, p, d and f shells and then explain your reasoning.

Scenario Three:

Read the following extract:

“Atmospheric ions are electrically charged particles which occur naturally in the atmosphere. They form in the upper atmospheric layers mainly because of the action of ultraviolent radiation from the sun, a swell as in lower atmospheric layers as a result of radioactive radiation and cosmic rays. These cause ionization of neutral molecules or atoms. As a result, ions are formed. These ions almost instantaneously combine to form molecules with ionic bonds.”

  • The extract mentions ‘ions’. Explain what these are in terms of their electronic structure, and how this is different from an atom.
  • The extract mentions ‘iconic bonds’. Explain what these are, and how they form in terms of electron structure.

Scenario Four:

Read the following extract:

“A polymer is a substance which has a molecular structure comprising of a large number of identical molecules covalently bonded together to form a long chain structure. Many synthetic organic materials are polymers, such as nylon, polythene and Kevlar.” 

  • The extract mentions ‘covalent bonds’. Explain what these are, and the formation of different types that can exist i.e. single, multiple etc.
  • Do some research and identify 4 simply covalently bonded molecules. Draw dot and cross diagrams of each to show the bond formation of each of your 4 examples.


You are required to carry out a short presentation which is based upon scenario 4.

  • Explain the formation of single and multiple covalent bonds.
  • Draw dot and cross diagrams to represent bond formation.
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