Chemistry

If I am asked to find the # of unpaired electrons in a molecule, do I just find the number of unpaired electrons for each atom and add them together?

For example, MgSO4.

Mg has 0 unpaired electrons. S has 2 unpaired electrons. O has 2 unpaired electrons.

Unpaired electrons = 2 + 4(2) = 10 unpaired electrons?

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  1. I think the best answer is no.
    If you look at MgSO4 that is Mg^2+ + SO4^2-
    You are correct that Mg as zero. It is 1s2 2s2 2p6 so all levels are filled and no unpairing. For SO4^2- you should draw the electron-dot structure. If you do that you will find zero unpaired electrons. This forum does not allow me to draw the structure of the sulfate ion but you can google it and get it. There are 32 electrons in the 2- ion and all are paired.

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    DrBob222

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