Chemistry: The Molecular Science (5th Edition)

Published by Cengage Learning
ISBN 10: 1285199049
ISBN 13: 978-1-28519-904-7

Chapter 3 - Chemical Reactions - Exercise 3.13 - Assigning Oxidation Numbers - Page 118: a


Each $Mg$ atom has an oxidation number equal to $+2$, and each $N$ has an oxidation number equal to $-3$.

Work Step by Step

According to rule 6(c), $Mg$ has an oxidation number equal to $+2$. According to rule 3, the sum of the oxidation numbers must be equal to 0. Since we have $Mg_3N_2$, and we know that $Mg$ has $+2$, let's call the oxidation number for nitrogen "x": (+2) * 3 + (x) * 2 = 0 6 + 2x = 0 2x = -6 x = -3 The oxidation number of the nitrogen atoms in this compound is equal to $-3$.
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