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In
chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo during a with other . ...

chemistry
, a salt is a
chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules (or molecular entity, molecular entities) composed of atoms from more than one chemical element, element held together by chemical bonds. A homonuclear molecule, m ...
consisting of an
ion An ion () is an atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ...
ic assembly of positively charged cations and negatively charged anions, which results in a compound with no net
electric charge Electric charge is the physical property of matter that causes it to experience a force when placed in an electromagnetic field. Electric charge can be ''positive'' or ''negative'' (commonly carried by protons and electrons respectively). Like c ...
. A common example is
table salt Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of Salt (chemistry), salts; salt in its natural form as a crystallinity, crystalline mineral is known as rock salt or halite. Sa ...

table salt
, with positively charged
sodium Sodium is a with the  Na (from Latin ''natrium'') and  11. It is a soft, silvery-white, highly reactive . Sodium is an , being in of the periodic table. Its only stable is 23Na. The free metal does not occur in nature, and must be ...

sodium
ions and negatively charged
chloride The chloride ion An ion () is a particle In the Outline of physical science, physical sciences, a particle (or corpuscule in older texts) is a small wikt:local, localized physical body, object to which can be ascribed several physical ...

chloride
ions. The component ions in a salt compound can be either
inorganic In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and chemical compound, compounds composed of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they under ...
, such as
chloride The chloride ion An ion () is a particle In the Outline of physical science, physical sciences, a particle (or corpuscule in older texts) is a small wikt:local, localized physical body, object to which can be ascribed several physical ...

chloride
(Cl), or
organic Organic may refer to: * Organic, of or relating to an organism, a living entity * Organic, of or relating to an anatomical organ (anatomy), organ Chemistry * Organic matter, matter that has come from a once-living organism, is capable of decay or ...
, such as
acetate An acetate is a salt formed by the combination of acetic acid with a base (e.g. alkaline, earthy, metallic, nonmetal image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-en.svg, upright=1.75, Nonmetals (and metalloids) in the periodic table: Metalloids are i ...

acetate
(). Each ion can be either
monatomic In physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Phy ...
, such as
fluoride Fluoride (). According to this source, is a possible pronunciation in British English. is an inorganic In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and chemical compound, compounds compose ...
(F), or polyatomic, such as
sulfate The sulfate or sulphate ion is a polyatomic anion An ion () is an atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having ...

sulfate
().


Types of salt

Salts can be classified in a variety of ways. Salts that produce
hydroxide Hydroxide is a diatomic anion with chemical formula A chemical formula is a way of presenting information about the chemical proportions of atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general che ...
ions An ion () is an atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are u ...

ions
when dissolved in
water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and the s of all known living organisms (in which it acts as a ). It is vital for all known forms of , even though it provide ...

water
are called ''
alkali salt Alkali salts or basic salts are salts that are the product of incomplete Neutralization (chemistry), neutralization of a Base (chemistry)#Strong bases, strong base and a Acid strength#Weak acids in water, weak acid. Rather than being neutral (as ...
s''. Salts that produce
acidic An acid is a molecule File:Pentacene on Ni(111) STM.jpg, A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five carbon rings. A molecule is an electrically neutral group of two or more atoms ...
solutions are ''
acid saltAcid salts are a class of salt (chemistry), salts that produce an acidic solution after being dissolved in a solvent. Its formation as a substance has a greater electrical conductivity than that of the pure solvent. An acidic solution formed by acid ...
s''. ''Neutral salts'' are those salts that are neither acidic nor basic.
ZwitterionIn chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and chemical compound, compounds composed of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo ...
s contain an anionic and a cationic centre in the same
molecule A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five carbon rings. A molecule is an electrically Electricity is the set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and motion I ...

molecule
, but are not considered to be salts. Examples of zwitterions are
amino acid Amino acids are organic compound In , organic compounds are generally any s that contain - . Due to carbon's ability to (form chains with other carbon s), millions of organic compounds are known. The study of the properties, reactions, a ...

amino acid
s, many
metabolite In biochemistry Biochemistry or biological chemistry, is the study of chemical process In a scientific Science (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-Europ ...
s,
peptide Peptides (from Greek language Greek (modern , romanized: ''Elliniká'', Ancient Greek, ancient , ''Hellēnikḗ'') is an independent branch of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus, Albania, ...
s, and
protein Proteins are large biomolecule , showing alpha helices, represented by ribbons. This poten was the first to have its suckture solved by X-ray crystallography by Max Perutz and Sir John Cowdery Kendrew in 1958, for which they received a No ...

protein
s.


Properties


Color

Solid salts tend to be
transparent Transparency, transparence or transparent most often refer to transparency and translucency, the physical property of allowing the transmission of light through a material. They may also refer to: Literal uses * Transparency (photography), a sti ...
as illustrated by
sodium chloride Sodium chloride , commonly known as salt (although sea salt also contains other chemical salt (chemistry), salts), is an ionic compound with the chemical formula NaCl, representing a 1:1 ratio of sodium and chloride ions. With Molar mass, molar ...
. In many cases, the apparent opacity or
transparency Transparency, transparence or transparent most often refer to transparency and translucency, the physical property of allowing the transmission of light through a material. They may also refer to: Literal uses * Transparency (photography), a sti ...
are only related to the difference in size of the individual
monocrystal A single-crystal, or monocrystalline, solid Solid is one of the four fundamental states of matter (the others being liquid, gas and plasma). The molecules in a solid are closely packed together and contain the least amount of kinetic e ...
s. Since light reflects from the
grain boundaries of a polycrystalline A crystallite is a small or even microscopic crystal A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituents (such as atoms, molecules, or ions) are arranged in a highly ordered microscopic structure, for ...

grain boundaries
(boundaries between crystallites), larger
crystal A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid Solid is one of the four fundamental states of matter (the others being liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible fluid In physics, a fluid is a substance that continually Deformatio ...

crystal
s tend to be transparent, while the
polycrystalline A crystallite is a small or even microscopic crystal A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituents (such as atoms, molecules, or ions) are arranged in a highly ordered microscopic structure, forming a crystal lattice ...
aggregates look like white powders. Salts exist in many different
color Color (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American Engli ...

color
s, which arise either from the anions or cations. For example: *
sodium chromate Sodium chromate is the inorganic compound with the formula Na2CrO4. It exists as a yellow hygroscopic solid, which can form tetra-, hexa-, and deca hydrates. It is an intermediate in the extraction of chromium from its ores. Production and react ...
is yellow by virtue of the
chromate ion Chromate salts contain the chromate anion, . Dichromate salts contain the dichromate anion, . They are oxyanions of chromium Chromium is a chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodi ...
*
potassium dichromate Potassium dichromate, , is a common inorganic compound, inorganic chemical reagent, most commonly used as an oxidizing agent in various laboratory and industrial applications. As with all hexavalent chromium compounds, it is acutely and chronically ...

potassium dichromate
is orange by virtue of the
dichromate ion Chromate salts contain the chromate anion, . Dichromate salts contain the dichromate anion, . They are oxyanions of chromium in the 6+ oxidation state and are moderately strong oxidizing agents. In an aqueous Solution (chemistry), solution, chro ...
*
cobalt nitrate
cobalt nitrate
is red owing to the chromophore of hydrated cobalt(II) ( o(H2O)6sup>2+). *
copper sulfateCopper sulfate may refer to: * Copper(II) sulfate, CuSO4, a common compound used as a fungicide and herbicide * Copper(I) sulfate, Cu2SO4, an unstable compound which is not commonly used {{Short pages monitor