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Evaluating Electrolytes and Nonelectrolytes

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INTERVIEWER: We know from various lines of experimental evidence that solid sodium chloride consists of an ordered three dimensional array of sodium and chloride ions. Solid sodium chloride is not a conductor of electricity. The ions of the ionic lattice are held in place by the strong ionic interactions in the solid and, therefore, are not free to move under the influence of the electric field. When sodium chloride is dissolved in water, it forms a solution of separated sodium and chloride ions. The presence of ions in the solution is responsible for the fact that the solution is a conductor of electricity. Substances, such as sodium chloride, that exist in aqueous solution entirely, or nearly entirely, as ions are called strong electrolytes. By contrast, an aqueous solution of a non-electrolyte, such as sugar, does not conduct electricity.