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Why is carbon = oxygen but oxygen is not = to carbon

Why is carbon = oxygen but oxygen is not = to cabon

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The question makes no sense as it is stated. There is a C=O bond, which is called a carbonyl group. It is written as shown, generally not as O=C. The C is carbon, which has four bonds connected to it. In this abbreviated form of this group, only two of its bonds are being shown. The O is oxygen, which has two bonds connected to it.

Posted on Jan 03, 2011

  • DubbleA Jan 03, 2011

    Another thing to keep in mind, too, is that every element, for example, oxygen or carbon, is unique and is distinguishable from any other. Each element has a different atomic number, which corresponds to the number of protons in its nucleus. Carbon has an atomic number of 6, and oxygen has an atomic number of 8. So, you see, C can never equal O, nor can O every = C. Carbon and oxygen have quite different physical and chemical properties: for example, oxygen is a gas, and carbon is a solid. Carbon has a valence of 4 (that is, 4 electrons in its outermost energy level, and oxygen has a valence of 6 (i.e., 6 electrons in its outermost energy level). The number of electrons in an element's outermost or "valence" energy level determines the element's chemical reactivity and how many bonds it can form wtih other elements. So, no, C is never = to O, nor vice-versa.

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