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Atomic Structure

What is an Oxygen Molecule?

Oxygen is a non-metal.
An oxygen atom has 6 electrons in its outer shell.
Oxygen is in group 6 of the periodic table.
Two oxygen atoms will each share two electrons to form
two covalent bonds and make an oxygen molecule  (O2).

This is a picture of an oxygen molecule.

By sharing the four electrons where the shells touch
each oxygen atom can count 8 electrons in its outer shell.
These full outer shells with their shared electrons
are now stable, and the O2
molecule will
not (normally) react further with other oxygen atoms.

Note the 2 pairs (4 electrons) shared between the atoms.
Each electron pair is one bond.
Oxygen has two bonds between its atoms.
This is called a double bond.

The structural formula of an oxygen molecule is written

There are no ions present (no + or - charges) in oxygen gas
because the electrons are shared,
not transferred from one atom to another.

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