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Multiple Central Atoms

Posted: Sun Oct 27, 2019 3:35 pm
by JamieVu_2C
In a polyatomic atom, how would you know which atoms are the central atoms if there are multiple of them that could act as the central atoms? So an example in the book is CH3COOH, but how would you know how to make which atoms the central ones?

Re: Multiple Central Atoms

Posted: Sun Oct 27, 2019 3:41 pm
by Ariana Iranmahboub1G
I would make the carbon atoms to central atom because it has the lowest ionization energy compared to oxygen and hydrogen. So I would have the two carbons in the center and from there I would draw the bonds from the carbon atoms to the oxygen and hydrogen.

Re: Multiple Central Atoms

Posted: Sun Oct 27, 2019 3:43 pm
by HanaAwad_4B
In molecules like that, the Carbon is almost always going to be the central atom due to how many bonds it can hold (this is also what organic chemistry mainly focuses on-- Carbon molecules). Carbon Molecules can have 4 bonds as it has 4 valence electrons. Oxygen has 6 valence electrons and only needs two more to fill the octet, thus they only have 2 bonds. Because of Carbon's ability to have four bonds, there are molecules that consist of long chains of carbon.