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Chemical Formulas

  1. Feb 22, 2010 #1
    So I'm taking chemistry again after a five hear hiatus from the topic and I would really appreciate an explanation on a certain formula.

    magnesium +oxygen forms magnesium oxide
    My question is, what happened to the 1 of the oxygen atoms?
    Shouldn't it be MgO2?
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 22, 2010 #2

    you shud write Mg and O in seperate ion form = Mg^+2 + O^-2 = so, magnesium gives 2 electrons and oxygen takes 2 elctrons, the 2's cancel out = MgO. You have to realize that the end molecule has a net charge of zero, its electrically neutral.
  4. Feb 22, 2010 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    All three formulas are correct. However, this is just a skeletal reaction equation, that is - it contains correct formulas, but it is not yet correct otherwise.

    No, formula is correct and it shouldn't be modified. Where is the oxygen? Reaction should be balanced - that is, you should add stoichiometric coefficients so that number of atoms of all elements on both sides is identical:

    2Mg + O2 -> 2MgO

    Now everything is OK.

  5. Feb 22, 2010 #4
  6. Feb 22, 2010 #5


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    Staff: Mentor


  7. Feb 22, 2010 #6
    Haha, ah I see now, thank you everyone.
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