Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Lecture Summary: February 1

We briefly reviewed formal charge, then examined how oxidation numbers as an alternative scheme for deciding how the electrons (charge) is distributed around a molecule. Both schemes are very useful to chemists as predictive tools, but they are really just simple stories. To know more, you would have to do quantum mechanical calcualtions to determine where the electrons are located. These sorts of things can be done, but you don't want to have to do them for every molecule you are interested in. The myths have a use!