match each of the general molecular formulas below with its correct electron geometry.
Each of the three molecules is created by replacing the carbon with a hydrogen and oxygen with a nitrogen atom.
This may sound weird, but the molecular formula of each of the three molecules is a perfect fit with its correct electron configuration.
All three molecules have a single carbon atom with two bonds to a hydrogen and oxygen atom, creating a stable and electronegative bond. All three are also symmetrical.
This is a bit of a trick question, but I will explain. In chemistry, we’re not interested in the exact molecular formula for a molecule, but in the general formula for the molecule. It tells you the number of protons, neutrons, and other stuff that make up the molecule, and how many identical atoms (like carbon and hydrogen) make up that molecule. In general, the more identical atoms, the stronger the molecule will be.
I was looking for a way to explain this to people in the comments, so I’ll give it here. If you’re not familiar with the molecular formula, it’s a handy tool for understanding how much atoms make up a large molecule. For instance, the molecular formula for the molecule of glyoxal would be C6H2O5. The number of identical atoms for a molecule is the molecular formula.
To see the molecular formulas for many common molecules, see our Molecular Chart of the Elements.
The answer is: it depends. The molecules in which you can’t find the correct electron geometry are molecules with a molecule formula that’s impossible to find with our current methods. This is because the carbon atoms in molecules with a molecule formula that involves a carbon atom that has two pairs of electrons in its outermost shell are too small to find their correct geometry.
This is a problem with the current method of determining molecular formulas for common molecules. The reason is that the outermost shells of carbon atoms are so small that they are too small to form double bonds and thus have no electron orbitals to attach electrons to.