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When there are double bonds in a structure, for example the Nitrate ion, NO3 2-, and chemists observe the actual N-O bond length, is every bond length the same length, despite the fact that we draw it with one double bond and two single bonds indicating that they are different lengths?
NO3 2- has resonance, meaning that the double bond in it can be between any of the three oxygens and the nitrogen atom. It has been experimentally determined for the N-O bonds in NO3 for example that they are all 124 pm, in between the single bond length of 140 pm and the double bond length of 120 pm. This idea applies to all resonance structures.
so NO3- is a resonance hybrid so the electrons in the double bonds can exist anywhere. This causes the bond length of N-O to be an average of the NO double and single bonds. The overall bond lengths are all the same
There was a question like this on the midterm and I'm still lost on how to do it. Can someone please explain how to even calculate bond lengths? Is there like a number we need to attribute to double and single bonds thats universal?
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