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Name: ghodel
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1999 


Question:
What determines the colors which a substance will reflect? There must be some relationship between the chemical structure of a molecule and the color of that substance. Can someone give a simple explanation of this?



Replies:
It's exactly the chemical structure of the molecule that determines the color of the solution. In organic molecules, it's usually the conjugation of double bonds (single bond-double bond-single-double, etc) that accounts for color. These bonds absorb certain wavelengths of white light thereby transmitting others thus giving off a color. For inorganics (the reason why copper solutions are blue in water), its the bonds again that absorb certain wavelengths and transmit others. The copper-water bond absorbs light in the 580-600 nanometer range (yellow-orange) so it transmits blue light. A yellow solution then absorbs blue light(450 nanometers).

-Joe Schultz



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