Formal Oxidation Numbers

  • Chr. Klixbüll Jørgensen
Part of the Molekülverbindungen und Koordinationsverbindungen in Einzeldarstellungen book series (MOLEKÜL)


Many authors introduce oxidation numbers in their text-books of inorganic chemistry. Perhaps one of the clearest accounts is given by Rancke-Madsen (1940). This book, as well as a more recent book (1963) exist only in Danish. After fruitful discussions with Professor Rancee-Madsen the writer attempts a somewhat more axiomatic representation. The fundamental axiom for all definitions of oxidation numbers is:

Axiom 1. The sum of the oxidation numbers of the atoms in a monatomic or polyatomic entity is the electric charge of the entity in protonic units.


Formal Oxidation Test Element Oxidation Number Axiomatic Representation Magnesium Metal 
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  1. Bjerrum, J.: Naturwiss. 38, 461 (1951).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Jander, G.: Die Chemie in wasserähnlichen Lösungsmitteln. Berlin: Springer 1949.Google Scholar
  3. Rancre-Madsen, E.: Analytisk Kemi. Copenhagen: G. E. C. Gad 1940.Google Scholar
  4. Rancre-Madsen, E.: Lærebog i Kemi, 7. Ed. Copenhagen: G. E. C. Gad 1963.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1969

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chr. Klixbüll Jørgensen
    • 1
  1. 1.Cyanamid European Research InstituteCologny, GenevaSwitzerland

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