What are some common mistakes students make with the net electric charge?

1 Answer
Feb 9, 2016


Most compounds are neutral; of course, all matter is neutral. In some instances, however, we include a formal charge descriptor in the fomula. Ozone, #O_3#, and ammonium ion, #NH_4^+# are examples.

In ozone, the central oxygen is conceived to have a positive charge, and the terminal oxygen a negative charge: #O=O^(+)-O^-#. Around the leftmost atom there are 8 electrons (hence neutral), around the central atom, there are 7 electrons (hence formally positive), and around the rightmost oxygen, there are 9 electrons, hence its negative depiction.