Identifying elements in Lewis structures  [ENDORSED]

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Toru Fiberesima 1L
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Identifying elements in Lewis structures

Postby Toru Fiberesima 1L » Mon May 14, 2018 11:17 pm

For question 3.37, why would the answer be phosphorus specifically and not, say nitrogen, or any of the other period 3 elements. Would they not all work due to having 5 valence electrons. In general, how does one figure out an unknown element from a lewis structure?

Luis Avalos 1D
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Re: Identifying elements in Lewis structures  [ENDORSED]

Postby Luis Avalos 1D » Tue May 15, 2018 9:18 am

It specifically says "period 3 element" which is Na through Ar, and nitrogen is a period 2 element. On top of this, the central atom does not strictly follow the octet rule which is also an indication that it would not be nitrogen.

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Re: Identifying elements in Lewis structures

Postby nicolesalcedo » Tue May 15, 2018 11:24 pm

Lavelle hasn't gone over this so I'm not 100% certain, but I would use the charges of the known elements in the lewis structure, count the number of shared electrons/bonds the central element has, and count the total number of electrons the lewis structure contains. I think all of these would help specify the unknown element.

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