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Oxidation number and oxidation state are the same thing, to calculate them there are some patterns like the elements in the first column have a +1 charge, the one's in the second column have a +2 charge, the transition metals vary in charge mostly, the halogens have a -1 charge, column 16 usually about a 2- charge, and when the atom is a solid or a gas, like Zn(s) or O2(g), it usually has no charge and other times you can simply calculate the charge of an atom by its total charge in a compound if you know the charge of the other atom(s). Lastly, oxidation states are important when balancing redox reactions to identify the half-reactions.
Hope Hyland 2D wrote:How do you use the oxidation numbers/states to get the half reactions? Also do we need to memorize the oxidation numbers for common molecules/elements?
You can use oxidation numbers to find out what species what reduced and what was oxidized. This becomes the basis for your half reactions, as there is an oxidation half-reaction and a reduction half-reaction. Also, the number (or difference) by which a species is either oxidized or reduced becomes the number of electrons that you write into a half reaction.
You should memorize that oxygen is generally -2 oxidation state and hydrogen is generally +1.
Ruby Richter 2L wrote:Why is oxygen generally -2 oxidation state and hydrogen generally +1?
Oxygen forms 2 covalent bonds to complete its octet, and because it has a high electronegativity relative to almost every other element, it will pull these electrons closer to it, effectively owning them and resulting in a -2 oxidation state.
Hydrogen is +1 for similar reasoning in that it tends to form a single covalent bond in which its electron is shared closer to the other atom and not to itself.
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