How do you calculate formal charge of an atom?

1 Answer
Aug 3, 2016

The formal charge is the difference between #Z#, the atomic number of the atom, and the number of electrons, bonding and non-bonding, that surround that atom.


Our conception of formal charge goes back to the old idea that in a covalent bond, the electrons are shared. Where there is a lone pair, for instance on #N# or #O#, the charge devolve solely to that atom,

See this old answer, and also here.