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01-13-2013, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by KesselBuiltMyHotrod View Post
So in my chem class we basically follow the octet rule for Lewis diagrams. I see around the internet a lot of places saying that using formal charge gives a "better" representation of molecules. However, I just read an article that said a lot of real life testing has shown that the octet rule may actually be closer to reality.

So I'm wondering how you guys have been taught.
Depends which row in the periodic table your talking about. First row CNOF elements, octet rule works out. Beyond the first row, elements have additional orbitals which can accommodate extra electrons. Take a look at the structures of phosphate or sulfuric acid molecules.

Keep in mind octet rule is just a record keeping device which makes it easier to keep track of everything. In reality you have to look at the entire molecular orbital and calculate the areas with the most electron density.

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