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Unformatted text preview: molecule. In these cases it can be helpful to know which structure has the greatest contribution to the final structure. If you have many possible resonance forms, you choose the most likely resonance form by calculating the formal charge on each atom in each resonance form. In these situations it is helpful to calculate the formal charge on each atom in each possible resonance structure, and use the formal charges to determine the most representative structure. Formal charge = Group number - number of nonbonding e-- (number of bonding e-) / 2. In the example below, we calculate the formal charge on each atom in a Lewis structure. What are the formal charges on each atom in NO 2-? The sum of the formal charges must equal that of the compund or ion. So, 0 + 0 - 1 = -1 as expected for NO 2-....
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