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Introductory Chemistry: A Foundati...

9th Edition
Steven S. Zumdahl + 1 other
ISBN: 9781337399425

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BuyFindarrow_forward

Introductory Chemistry: A Foundati...

9th Edition
Steven S. Zumdahl + 1 other
ISBN: 9781337399425
Textbook Problem
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Why must the sum of all the oxidation states of the atoms in a neutral molecule be zero?

Interpretation Introduction

Interpretation:

The reason for sum of all the oxidation states of the atoms in a neutral molecule to be zero should be explained.

Concept Introduction:

Oxidation state also known as oxidation number is actually defined as the degree of oxidation or loss of electrons by an atom. It can be positive, negative, or zero depending on the nature oxidation or reduction of the species.

During oxidation, oxidation number increases and on reduction it decreases. In oxidation and reduction reactions, transfer of electrons take place in such a way a net gain of electrons represents reduction and net loss of electrons represents oxidation. The pure elements remain in zero oxidation state.

Explanation

The sum of all the oxidation states of the atoms in molecule is equal to the charge present on the molecule. In the case of neutral molecule the charge is zero therefore, the sum of all the oxidation states is also zero.

For example: The oxidation state of hydrogen and oxygen in water is + 1 and -2 respectively. Here, water H2O is neutral molecule. The sum of oxidation states of all the atoms in water molecule can be calculated as follows:

2×O<

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