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Need helpPLs

  1. Oct 22, 2003 #1
    Can someone help me solve this question??

    Nitrogen trioxide(NO3) is an example of a trigonal planar molecule. It consists of four atoms in a plane, three oxygen atoms surrounding and individually bonding to a single nitrogen atom. Because there are three indeatical atoms surrounding the nitrogen atom, the three are evenly spaced around a circle. The bond angle for each of the three bonds is, therefore 360/3 = 120 degrees.

    If the distance between the nitrogen atom and each oxygen atom in (NO3) is 1.22 EXP -10 (1.22 x 10^-10 metres, what is one way to assign planar coordinates to the atoms??

    My solution: I thought that since the Oxygen molecules are bonding with the nitrogen, to fix the nitrogen as the centre of the plane. So give nitrogen to coordinates (0,0,0), and base all the other atoms around it. But the problem i am not getting, is how can i stabilize an exact position of the atom in a cartesian plane. I was thinking that it is impossible. Because the atoms can be anywhere in space as long as they satisfy the 120 degree angle between them and the distance between the atom always remaining the same.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 22, 2003 #2


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    You are correct, but the question is just asking for one way, so pick one and go with it!
  4. Oct 22, 2003 #3
    hehe i just saw that myself, i thought it was asking me to define a system of coordinates for these types of problems, because it would be giving me too little information if it was. thanks :D
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