Those elements which are equivalent in combining or displacing power to a single atom of hydrogen are said to be univalent or monad elements; whilst those which are equivalent to two atoms of hydrogen are termed bivalent or dyad elements; and those equivalent to three, four, five or six atoms of hydrogen triad, tetrad, pentad or hexad elements.
In gases the electrons sometimes travel alone, but in liquids they are always attached to matter, and their motion involves the movement of chemical atoms or groups of atoms. An atom with an extra corpuscle is a univalent negative ion, an atom with one corpuscle detached is a univalent positive ion.
Clarke (1889-1893) supposes them to be substitution derivatives of normal aluminium orthosilicate A14(S104)3, in which part of the aluminium is replaced by alkalis, magnesium, iron and the univalent groups (MgF), (A1F2),(AlO), (MgOH); an excess of silica is explained by the isomorphous replacement of H 4 SiO 4 by the acid H4S130s.
The average of the coagulative powers of salts of univalent, divalent and trivalent metals have been found by experiment to be proportional to the numbers 1: 35: 1023.
If we assume that a certain minimum electric charge must be brought into contact with a group of colloid particles to produce coagulation, twice as many univalent ions must collect to produce the same effect as a number of divalent ions, and three times as many as an effective number of trivalent ions.