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Topic: Understanding resonance hybrid with nitrite  (Read 919 times)

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Offline AllAmericanBreakfast

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Understanding resonance hybrid with nitrite
« on: November 02, 2018, 04:31:18 PM »
Hello, I'm trying to understand resonance hybrids. My textbook uses nitrite as an example, with the following diagram:

I don't understand how the two images shown are really different forms. It seems like it's just the same molecule being "viewed from two different sides."

Can you enlighten me? Thanks!

Offline mjc123

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Re: Understanding resonance hybrid with nitrite
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2018, 11:53:30 AM »
Those are not good diagrams. Resonance structures should not be drawn with dotted lines for partial bonds - you may represent the molecule itself (the combination of resonance structures) like that. Resonance structures should be conventionally-bonded structures. Thus the structure on the left should have a double bond to the left and a single bond (and negatively charged O) to the right, and vice versa for the right-hand structure. The resulting molecule is symmetrical with an average bond order of 1.5 - but that is not a resonance structure.

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