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Nomenclature Question

  1. Oct 6, 2004 #1
    Hey, I was just wondering about naming this compound

    Lithium and Nitrogen. I know Li has a +1 charge but Nitrogen can have a bunch. How do I know what one to pick. Also my teach has this written for the correct answer (2)Li3N... what is that (2) out there for?

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 6, 2004 #2


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    Lithium and nitrogen gives lithium nitride, Li3N. I have no idea what (2) means here, but according to redox chemistry, we can find the required coefficients.

    Lithium:from [itex]Li^0[/itex] to [itex]Li^+[/itex]
    Nitrogen: from [itex]N_2[/itex] to [itex]N^{3-}[/itex]

    [tex]6~Li~+~N_2 \xrightarrow {heat} 2~Li_3N [/tex]

    Look for Faraday's technique for synthesizing this compound.
  4. Oct 6, 2004 #3
    Score thanks.
  5. Oct 6, 2004 #4
    Oh yeah Umm question about this: For instance N have electron charges from +5 - (-1) How do you know what one to write down when combining it with an element.
  6. Oct 7, 2004 #5


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    Hello, I don't think nitrogen reduces from 5+ to 1- in any reaction, the most popular oxidation numbers for nitrogen are 5+, 4+, 2+, 1+, 0, and 3-. I may be wrong of course, but at least in your question, nitrogen changes from 0 to 3-; lithium is oxidized to its only oxidation state, 1+.

    The order is as follows, first lithium is oxidized and electrons go out from it, and nitrogen gets electrons to reduce. As six electrons are needed to convert N2 to 2N3-, six moles of Li is needed as [itex]6Li \rightarrow 6Li^+~+~e^-[/itex].
  7. Oct 10, 2004 #6


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    A false statement about my last post:

    My last LateX reaction is wrong, as it should be [itex]6Li \rightarrow 6Li^++6e^-[/itex]. Sorry for seeing this too late.
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