The directions say for each of the following use appropriate chem properties to explain the following observations.

What would be observed on the surface of zinc and silver if they are placed in separate solutions of copper (II) sulfate?

I am not really sure what they're asking for.

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  1. Nothing on the Ag surface. Cu metal will plate out onto the Zn surface leaving a finely divided layer of Cu which probably will be small enough in size that it will be black.
    Ag(s) + CuSO4(aq) ==> No reaction.
    Zn(s) + CuSO4(aq) ==> ZnSO4 + Cu(s)

    You should know the reason why this happens. Ag is BELOW Cu in the activity series (often called the EMF or electromotive force series) but Zn is ABOVE Cu. This activity series tells us that a metal in the series will displace the ion of a metal BELOW it. Therefore, Zn will displace Cu ion (since Cu is below Zn) but Ag will not (since Cu is above Ag). Look in your text for activity series for a better description of this effect.

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