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Homework Help: Lewis dot diagram configuration

  1. Jun 22, 2011 #1
    So im doing my lewis dot diagram work, does it matter where i put the valence electors?

    for example oxygen has 6 valence electrons, i go with using the N E S W (North, east south, west)

    I put 2 north, 2 east, 2 south but none of west(6 in total so far)

    but the book puts them in the configuration of 2 north 2 east 1 south and 1 west

    its the same isnt it? does it matter? I suppose the book is just trying to give the illusion of a full orbit(covering each direction)

    I have the same answer as the book, just positioned differently, it shouldnt matter should it?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 22, 2011 #2
    kinda depends.
    take for example the Oxygens in H2O and CO2. While they both have 4 valence electrons, they're placed differently. in CO2 they're 'north' and 'south' because of CO2's linear shape, but in H2O they're typically 'north east' and 'north west' because of H2O's bent shape.

    specifically about the 6 electrons on oxygen, as an instructor I wouldn't care where you put them as long as you get the number right. (a little symmetry doesn't hurt, though)
  4. Jun 24, 2011 #3
    a ground state oxygen atom has 2 pairs of electrons and 2 unpaired electrons, so it does matter.
    see hund's rule
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