formal charge

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Britney Tran IJ
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Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:18 am

formal charge

Postby Britney Tran IJ » Sun Nov 08, 2020 9:18 pm

Hi there! Could anyone explain what the importance of the formal charge is? I understand how to dine it but I'm not really sure what the values mean. Thank you!

Lakshmi Davuluri 1E
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:50 pm

Re: formal charge

Postby Lakshmi Davuluri 1E » Sun Nov 08, 2020 9:24 pm

Hi! From what I understood from the lectures I think formal charge is used to mainly keep track of the charge of atoms and molecules while drawing the lewis structures. From there I think you can use the charge to predict things about the atoms and molecules, such as reactivity.

Tobie Jessup 2E
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:02 pm

Re: formal charge

Postby Tobie Jessup 2E » Sun Nov 08, 2020 9:25 pm

I am also a bit confused with formal charge. To my understanding, I know that calculating the FC of single atoms is important when checking the stability of a molecule because rearranging bonds to have atoms with FCs of zero creates a more table structure overall. Hopefully that was a bit helpful!

Ivan Chen 2H
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:48 pm

Re: formal charge

Postby Ivan Chen 2H » Sun Nov 08, 2020 9:26 pm

It helps us determine what is the most representative Lewis structure based on how close the overall formal charge of the structure is to zero

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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:41 pm

Re: formal charge

Postby Dylan_Nguyen_2C » Sun Nov 08, 2020 9:44 pm

The formal charge is a charge that we assign to individual atoms that help us determine the correct lewis structure. We can tell if a structure is accurate if all the formal charges in a molecule add up to the total charge. But we also need to look for formal charges that are closest to zero because energy is needed to separate charge. Hope this helps.

Ryan Hoang 1D
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:49 pm

Re: formal charge

Postby Ryan Hoang 1D » Sun Nov 08, 2020 9:51 pm

Everyone else here is correct: just remember: formal charge gets us the most stable possible configuration of electrons. If we make FC of each atom as close to 0 as possible, we'll get more stable molecules.

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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:47 pm

Re: formal charge

Postby MMorcus2E » Sun Nov 08, 2020 10:15 pm

It helps us figure out the most appropriate lewis structure while taking the stability of the atom or compound into consideration.

Gian Boco 2G
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:36 pm

Re: formal charge

Postby Gian Boco 2G » Sun Nov 08, 2020 11:22 pm

The formal charge of an atom in a molecule will tells you the charge associated with it. We use them to determine the best Lewis Structure for a molecule that has different possibilities. We want the lowest energy, and separating charges takes energy, therefore we want FC's of 0 ideally.

Thomas Gimeno
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:49 pm

Re: formal charge

Postby Thomas Gimeno » Sun Nov 08, 2020 11:38 pm

The formal charge is important because it shows where there are more or less electrons. For example, if an oxygen atom has three lone pairs of electrons and one bond, it would have a negative formal charge. This is because oxygen would normally only have two lone pairs of electrons along with two more electrons that could be used for bonding (adding up to 6 valance electrons)

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