chemistry

do the resonance structures only apply for oxygen and double bonds?

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  1. No. Organic chemistry is over run with resonance structures. Most polyatomic ions in inorganic chemistry as well as many compounds have resonance structures.

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  2. how do you know when to draw the resonance strcutres?

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  3. Generally, when more than one structure CAN be drawn. That isn't always true but it is generally true. For example, I can draw
    H:O:Cl: with two dots over the O and Cl and two dots below O and Cl. But I can also draw it as
    H:Cl:O with two dots over Cl and O and two dots below Cl and O. However, these are not thought of as resonacne structures because it is known that H is not attched to Cl but to the O. An example might be NO3^- where the double bond can be placed at almost any of the N-O postions. So we draw the double bond to one N-O, then to the other N-O and call those resonance structures.

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