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Oxidation number vs. ionic charges

  1. Apr 11, 2004 #1
    what is the difference between oxidation number and ionic charges? I realize they are written differently, +1 vs. 1+, but how can I reasonably explain the differnces to 17 year olds (and myself?)?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 11, 2004 #2


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    Oxidation number either pertains to the ratio of electrons to protons that an atom possess perhaps in respect to covalent compounds while ionic charges is used in situations within ionic compounds. It basically has to do with electronegativity...in covalent compounds the charges are not so much as separated as in ionic compounds. The difference in terms is not really important though, truly insignificant.

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