Question #c4e2e

1 Answer
Feb 19, 2017

Generally, you look at the number of bonds each atom can make. Is it possible for one central atom to bond to all the others?


If the answer is yes, then you are likely looking at a simple molecule.

An example would be #CHCl_3#. Carbon will bond four times, with hyfrogen and chlorine bonding once. So, all four atoms can be bonded to the single carbon atom, leading us to expect a simple structure with carbon at the centre.

On the other hand, consider #CH_4O# (methanol). Here, we have five atoms in addition to the carbon. It is not possible for all five to bond to that one carbon atom. However, since oxygen makes two bonds, if the oxygen atom is bonded to the carbon, then there will still be four bonds for the hydrogen atoms. However, this molecule is not simple as a result.