Astrophysics (index)about

oxidation state

(oxidation number)
(number characterizing atoms of a compound as ions)

A compound's oxidation state (or oxidation number) is a small integer indicating the degree of oxidation of an atom in a compound, i.e., the number of electrons one atom would have "borrowed" from the other, if they were a pair of ions each with filled shells, one positive, the other negative. Such a bond is called an ionic bond, but in actuality, bonds are only ionic to a degree, always acting at least in part as if the electrons are shared, i.e., in part, a covalent bond.


Referenced by:
atmosphere formation
reducing atmosphere