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Understanding chemical depictions.

  1. Aug 20, 2015 #1
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/70/Phosphat-Ion.svg
    This image is a depiction for the chemical formula of A phosphate PO4^3−
    I understand the ^3- represents the the Oxygen atoms.

    I was wondering what exactly does it mean; I would assume it means the atom has a negative charge.

    What do the symbols connecting the O atoms to the Phosphate represent? The = symbol, the solid and striped triangle, and the single line.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 20, 2015 #2

    Bystander

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    No. "-3" or "3-" indicates that the polyatomic ion, comprised of one phosphorus atom and four oxygen atoms has a charge of -3.
     
  4. Aug 21, 2015 #3
    You dont understand what the symbols connecting the oxygen atoms to the phosphate atoms?

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/70/Phosphat-Ion.svg
     
  5. Aug 21, 2015 #4

    Bystander

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    You see the red X on the attached image? It means it didn't come through for anyone on the forum to examine. I can guess, but that's not instructive.
     
  6. Aug 21, 2015 #5
  7. Aug 21, 2015 #6

    Bystander

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    A 3-D representation, the solid triangle representing a bond emerging from the plane of the paper from phosphorus to oxygen, the dashed triangle a bond "into" the paper to another oxygen, the solid line a "single" bond in the plane of the paper, and the double line a double bond in the plane of the paper. It's easier to portray the structure of the ion this way than with a tetrahedron of four 5/4 bonds.
     
  8. Aug 21, 2015 #7
  9. Aug 21, 2015 #8
    I assumed they represented different dimensions of its position bonded to the phosphate. When you say the solid triangle represents the bond emerging from the plane of the paper are you saying the element is being repelled by the phosphate but still bonded? Whats the difference between a single bond and a double bond in the same chemical formula?
     
  10. Aug 21, 2015 #9

    DrClaude

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    There is no repelling. It is only to get a 2D representation of a 3D structure, a triangular pyramid in this case. All three P-O- bonds are to be taken as equivalent.

    In reality, all P-O bonds should be equivalent. You will get resonance structures.
     
  11. Aug 21, 2015 #10
    It's bonds pointing towards or away from you. It matters for stereochemistry.as a tetrahedral doesn't fit in a plane.
     
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