Do exactly the same chemicals react with each other

  • #1
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Not sure if this is well know but for some reason, I don't know if exactly same chemicals make chemical reactions with one another and if yes, how common that is?
 

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  • #2
BillTre
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Your question is not clear to me.
 
  • #3
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If there was an environment with only one compound in it, for example destilised water, I understand that water molecules don't chemically react with it each other. At least not on Earth I imagine.
But I was wondering if there is such a compound which in some way, changes its molecular property by interacting with another same compound. I guess the other compound would also change into the same thing...
 
  • #4
jim mcnamara
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I"m not sure what you mean - let's take this to be an answer.
Polymers, examples:
multiple glucose molecules which are chemically bonded into a chain == starch.
From wikipedia:
Starch is very similar to cellulose. But cellulose is a fiber that you can't digest. The thing that makes these two polymers different is simply how the glucose molecules are put together in the polymer chain
polypepetides can be chains of the same amino acid - like where G=glutamic acid G-G-G-G-G
 
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  • #5
jim mcnamara
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@BillTre - not clear to me either. But polymers meet his definition. Probably not his intent.
 
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  • #6
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Ah I see what you mean Jim, if same molecules start boding together, that essentially is a chemical reaction and the result is a different molecule. So from that angle the answer would be yes.
I was more thinking if the actual internal structure of the molecule could ever change by being around a molecule or molecules just like itself.
Thanks for the reply btw!
 
  • #7
BillTre
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How about O forming O2, or H forming H2?
Is that the kind of thing you mean?
I think the unbonded atoms (which some might call molecules) would be unstable.

or what about 3O2's forming 2O3's? (all more than a single atom)?
 
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  • #8
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Yes, that's a great example. hah, what's that expression.. can't see the forest for the trees.
But that still does just create a "chain" sort to speak.
I was more thinking of a molecule, say some acid for example that will react every time it is surrounded by itself... And turn into another type of acid. I can't imagine this could happen as they would have to turn into either something else (so someone would have to donate an atom or two, I guess they would have to argue it out? ;) ), but they cannot change into a same thing, because they would just remain the same thing.
Sorry this might be obvious, but it just never occurred to me to question it, just in case...
 
  • #9
jim mcnamara
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Or: radioactive decay -> alpha particle -> interacts with neighbor nucleus. You should consider reading about chemistry.

Your question is 'a too nebulous what if '; too many answers fit.
 
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  • #10
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Thanks Jim, this is totally a basic question. I just for some reason questioned it
 
  • #11
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Bottom line, creating poly-chains seems to be the only option a molecule has when reacting with itself.
 
  • #12
Ygggdrasil
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A good example of this phenomenon is nitrogen dioxide. NO2 can react with itself to form N2O4. So, under certain conditions (e.g. low temperature or high pressure), a vial of nitrogen dioxide will convert mostly to dinitrogen tetroxide, whereas under other conditions (high temp or low pressure), it will stay as nitrogen dioxide.

Another example of this phenomenon is formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is fairly reactive substance that can react with itself to form various polymeric forms (e.g. paraformaldehyde). As a diffuse gas, formaldehyde can exist mostly as monomers, but once this gas condenses, you begin to start forming these polymers.
 
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  • #13
Borek
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A bit tricky, if the molecule reacts with itself you can't start with a pure compound :wink:

Google for disproportionation.
 
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