A HELPFUL SYSTEM FOR DETERMINING OXIDATION NUMBERS Determining the oxidation number of an atom: Apply the rules below in the order given until oxidation numbers for all but one kind of atom have been assigned. Use Note A to determine the oxidation number of the final element. Occasionally application of the 6 rules leaves two or more kinds of atoms unassigned. If this should occur, choose the most electronegative atom of those still unassigned and assign it the minimum allowable oxidation number (see Note B). Continue this process until all but one kind of atom has been assigned, then apply Note A. If the substance contains a polyatomic ion, be sure that the oxidation numbers assigned result in the correct charge for that ion. Conversely, the known charge on a polyatomic ion can be used to assign the proper oxidation numbers. Check each assignment to see that it does not violate Notes B or C.
This is the end of the preview. Sign up
access the rest of the document.