Calculating Formal Charge


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Silvi_Lybbert_3A
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Calculating Formal Charge

Postby Silvi_Lybbert_3A » Sat Nov 07, 2020 11:22 pm

Can total formal charge of a molecule be found, not only by summarizing individual atom's formal charges, but also by seeing how many electrons have been added on top of the total number of electrons the free atoms would have?

Megan Singer 3D
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Re: Calculating Formal Charge

Postby Megan Singer 3D » Sun Nov 08, 2020 1:50 am

What you are describing is how we determine the charge of a polyatomic ion (a molecule with an overall charge). I don't think this is generally referred to as finding the formal charge of the molecule, it's just called finding the charge of the polyatomic ion.

Yuehan_Wu_3K
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Re: Calculating Formal Charge

Postby Yuehan_Wu_3K » Sun Nov 08, 2020 5:04 am

I think calculations will make sure that all the answers you get will be correct. "Seeing" may bring you some biased answers.

Rajshree 1F
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Re: Calculating Formal Charge

Postby Rajshree 1F » Sun Nov 08, 2020 2:27 pm

I think the equation is a fool proof way of finding the formal charge of each atom and therefore the overall charge of the molecule.

Samudrala_Vaishnavi 3A
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Re: Calculating Formal Charge

Postby Samudrala_Vaishnavi 3A » Mon Nov 09, 2020 8:21 am

Adding up the formal charges of the atoms of a molecule should give you the overall oxidation number if that's what you mean, but NOT the net formal charge. You will need to calculate the individual formal charges of each atom in order to understand if they have the correct configuration of electrons and if a certain atom is not wanting or discarding electrons to have a stable structure. This makes it easier to compare Lewis structures in a more precise way. Having a net formal charge is not something we have heard of before.

sophie esherick 3H
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Re: Calculating Formal Charge

Postby sophie esherick 3H » Mon Nov 09, 2020 9:26 am

I think it is better to use the equation just because it guarantees that you will find the correct charge for each atoms and the entire molecule.

Lorraine Jiang 2C
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Re: Calculating Formal Charge

Postby Lorraine Jiang 2C » Thu Nov 12, 2020 10:05 am

I think it is better to use the formal charge equation as well because it is the most straight forward way to solve the formal charge problems.

EmilyGillen_1A
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Re: Calculating Formal Charge

Postby EmilyGillen_1A » Thu Nov 12, 2020 10:55 am

I think what you're referencing can help you when drawing Lewis structures/ diagrams, but it doesn't really serve as a reliable way to calculate formal charge. The number of "added" electrons will help you recognize if there is a net charge to be aware of, which is really important because it changes the amount of electrons in the diagram. But when you're looking at formal charge you should have already included those electrons, so your formal charge calculations are kind of independent of those extra electrons. If it helps you check to make sure you're using the right number of electrons that is totally fine, but I would make sure to use the traditional way of finding formal charge so you don't mix anything up.

Kelly Tran 1J
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Re: Calculating Formal Charge

Postby Kelly Tran 1J » Thu Nov 12, 2020 11:05 am

I agree with the above posts. I think using the formal charge equation is the best way to determine the total formal charge because it will ensure that you calculate the formal charges of each individual atom correctly. It will also ensure that you assign the correct formal charge to each individual atom, which is important if you are asked to identify the most favorable lewis structure.

Crystal Pan 2G
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Re: Calculating Formal Charge

Postby Crystal Pan 2G » Thu Nov 12, 2020 11:47 am

The equation is the most straightforward way to find the formal charge and find the most stable lewis structure.


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