Oxidation Numbers Tutor
This Tutor will help you learn how to assign oxidation numbers in
chemical formulas. To get started, click the "New Problem" button and
enter your chemical formula in the dialog box. You may enter any
formula you wish, or select a formula from the several examples
provided on the "Choose a Formula" menu.
Once you have entered your formula, the Tutor will help you assign its
oxidation numbers one step at a time. Simply type your work in the box
and click "OK" to get feedback from the Tutor. There are two kinds of
steps that can be taken in working oxidation number problems. To
assign an oxidation number to an element, enter element_symbol = value, such as
Mg = +2
Sometimes it is also necessary to separate an ionic compound into its
cation and anion in order to assign all the oxidation numbers. To do
this, enter split cation_formula
anion_formula, such as
split NH4+ SO4(-2)
If the Tutor does not understand what you typed, it will say so and
you can try again.
Also, at any time you can click "Hint" to get a hint towards the next
step to take, or "Next Step" to have the Tutor take the best next step
for you, building on any work you have done so far.
Rules for Assigning Oxidation Numbers
The rules used for assigning oxidation numbers may differ slightly
from those in your textbook. They are arranged in two levels, with the
rules that are dependable enough to be used under any circumstances
classified as "first priority," and two additional rules that are
"second priority." When working a problem, always first check for
first priority rules that can be used. Only when the first priority
rules do not apply can you use a second priority rule.