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Oxidation State Definition

Definition of Oxidation State

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Oxidation State Definition: The oxidation state is the difference between the number of electrons associated with an atom in a compound as compared with the number of electrons in an atom of the element. In ions, the oxidation state is the ionic charge. In covalent compounds the oxidation state corresponds to the formal charge. Elements are assumed to exist in the zero oxidation state.

Examples: in NaCl the oxidation states are Na(+1) and Cl(-1); in CCl4 the oxidation states are C(+4) and each chlorine is Cl(-1)

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