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Author Topic: What's the difference between oxidation numbers and charge?  (Read 5628 times)

Offline mogsmar5

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I know they're related but I'm not sure how.


 

Offline chris

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What's the difference between oxidation numbers and charge?
« Reply #1 on: 23/02/2010 13:38:42 »
The oxidation number is the charge that a central atom would have if all of its ligands were removed, including the electron pairs being shared with those ligands.

For example, in carbon dioxide - CO2 - the carbon oxygen bond is a double = bond:

O=C=O

This means that two pairs of electrons are involved in each bond.

If the oxygens were removed, together with the electrons pairs, this would leave the carbon in a +4 state - hence oxidation number 4.

For water - H2O - it would be two pairs of electrons being removed from the oxygen (one for each hydrogen) hence oxygen has a +2 oxidation state.

This means that the oxidation number can tell you the charge on the individual ions made by an element.

Chris
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

What's the difference between oxidation numbers and charge?
« Reply #1 on: 23/02/2010 13:38:42 »

 

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