What are the oxidation numbers of each element in the salt #MgSO_4#?
A metal oxidation state of
The oxidation number is the charge left on the central atom when all the bonding pairs of electrons are removed with the charge assigned to the most electronegative atom.
This is a mouthful, but for ionic compounds, such as
For the anion,
What is the oxidation number of sulfur in
The sum of oxidation numbers in a neutral compound must be equal to 0.
We know that
Knowing that, we can set up an equation.
Let the charge of
#Mg + SO_4^-2 = 0#
#x + (-2)=0#
Therefore, the oxidation state of