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    A question asked to give the chemical formula of solid phosporous oxide. i thought that P would form a 3- ion and oxygen would form an o 2- ion with the formula P302 but apparently thats wrong. could someone explain please?
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    You can't have an ionic substance with two negative ions, anyway this isn't an ionic substance it's covalent as we have two non-metals. Oxygen has an oxidation state of -2 and phosphorus has an oxidation state of +5. To balance these we will need 5 oxygen atoms and 2 phosphorus atoms so the answer will be P2O5 or P4O10 which will also work.
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    (Original post by haarithiop)
    You can't have an ionic substance with two negative ions, anyway this isn't an ionic substance it's covalent as we have two non-metals. Oxygen has an oxidation state of -2 and phosphorus has an oxidation state of +5. To balance these we will need 5 oxygen atoms and 2 phosphorus atoms so the answer will be P2O5 or P4O10 which will also work.
    how do you work out the oxidation state? maybe i dont know how because i'm in year 12 and i haven't learnt it yet?
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    Look at what group the elements are in and it gives you a hint to the oxidation state
 
 
 
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