ANDREW LAMBERT PHOTOGRAPHY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ANDREW LAMBERT PHOTOGRAPHY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Metal displacement reaction. The solution of silver nitrate (AgNO3, left) has a copper wire (Cu) placed in it. Copper is a more reactive metal than silver. Over time, the copper displaces (replaces) the silver in the solution to form a blue solution of copper nitrate (Cu(NO3)2, right). The silver that has been displaced out of solution crystallizes as a solid around the wire. The formula for this reaction is: Cu + 2AgNO3 ---> Cu(NO3)2 + 2Ag.
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