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Aqueous solution of magnesium chloride and silver nitrate are mixed to form solid silver chloride and aqueous magnesium nitrate. The balanced net ionic equation contains which of the following terms?
(A) \[Ag_{(aq)}^ + \]
(B) \[Mg_{(aq)}^{2 + }\]
(C) \[NO_{3(aq)}^ - \]
(D) \[2NO_{3(aq)}^ - \]

Last updated date: 20th Jun 2024
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Hint: A balanced net ionic equation is the chemical equation that shows only those ions that are directly involved in the chemical reaction. The number of atoms and its type should be the same on both sides of the ionic reaction. That means the equation is balanced by both mass and charge.

Complete step-by-step solution:
As mentioned in the question, aqueous solution of magnesium chloride and silver nitrate when mixed results in the formation of solid silver chloride and aqueous magnesium nitrate.
We can express this reaction in terms of molecular equations. It is a balanced chemical equation having molecules rather than ions with subscripts indicating nature of the compound.
This gives us the balanced molecular equation-
\[MgC{l_2}(aq) + 2AgN{O_3}(aq) \to 2AgCl(s) \downarrow + Mg{(N{O_3})_2}(aq)\]
Since the molecules are made of electrolytes that can split into ions, they can be written in the form of a complete ionic equation. This type of equation has all the reactants and products in ionic form with subscripts describing state of matter. So, this equation can be written in ionic form as –
\[M{g^{2 + }}(aq) + 2C{l^ - }(aq) + 2A{g^ + }(aq) + 2N{O_3}^ - (aq) \to 2AgCl(s) \downarrow + M{g^{2 + }}(aq) + 2N{O_3}^ - (aq)\]
From this chemical equation, we get the net balanced ionic equation. This equation includes spectator ions as well as ions directly involved in the reaction. Spectator ions are those ions that do not take part in the chemical reaction and are found as it is in the solution, before and after the reaction.
Looking at the above reaction, we see that the magnesium and nitrate ions are both spectator ions and therefore they cancel out while writing the net balanced ionic equation.
So, we get-
\[C{l^ - }(aq) + A{g^ + }(aq) \to AgCl(s) \downarrow \]
As per this equation, we get the following terms: \[C{l^ - }(aq)\], \[A{g^ + }(aq)\]and \[AgCl(s)\].

Hence, the correct option is (A).

Note: Molecular balanced equations do not involve electrolytes always i.e. soluble ionic species. For example, in the above written ionic equation, AgCl remained as it is because it is insoluble in water and so cannot dissociate into ions, \[A{g^ + }\]and \[C{l^ - }\].