How to determine central atom

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Noh_Jasmine_1J
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:15 am

How to determine central atom

Postby Noh_Jasmine_1J » Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:52 pm

hi, how do I determine the central atom of a lewis structure?

Katie Frei 1L
Posts: 64
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:27 am

Re: How to determine central atom

Postby Katie Frei 1L » Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:56 pm

The central atom of the lewis structure is the atom with the lowest ionization energy.

Parth Mungra
Posts: 72
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:28 am

Re: How to determine central atom

Postby Parth Mungra » Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:06 am

The atom with the lowest ionization energy and the lowest electron affinity is the central atom.
Some tips: If there are carbon atoms in an organic molecule carbons are most likely going to be the backbone of the lewis structure, but not always. Hydrogen will almost never be the central atom.

Sarah Jeong 4F
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:27 am

Re: How to determine central atom

Postby Sarah Jeong 4F » Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:32 am

Adding on, mostly in Lewis Structures, the element that is used the least like the C in CH4 usually goes in the middle, because it is also based on symmetry.

Maria Nabagala 3E
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Re: How to determine central atom

Postby Maria Nabagala 3E » Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:43 pm

always the atom with the lowest ionization energy. For example, in H2O, O would be in the middle because it has the lowest ionization energy

Henry Dudley 1G
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Re: How to determine central atom

Postby Henry Dudley 1G » Fri Nov 02, 2018 2:18 am

Is ionization energy related to formal charge because I thought the central atom was the one that always had the lowest formal charge.

Kristy 1F
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:19 am

Re: How to determine central atom

Postby Kristy 1F » Fri Nov 02, 2018 2:37 am

The central atom is the least electronegative one.

Linh Vo 2J
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Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:00 am

Re: How to determine central atom

Postby Linh Vo 2J » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:09 am

To sum up the ideas of this post and contribute to the discussion, to determine the central atom, there are multiple factors you can consider:
1. Which element is least frequently present in the compound?
2. Which one has the lowest ionization energy?
3. Which one is the least electronegative?
The answer to these questions will help you determine which one is the central atom of a Lewis structure.

Sapna Ramappa 1J
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:24 am

Re: How to determine central atom

Postby Sapna Ramappa 1J » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:29 am

You can look at whatever has the lowest ionization energy, the lowest electronegativity, and whichever shows up the least in the formula.


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