Elements and Compounds

Why sodium oxide does not contain equal numbers of sodium and oxide ions?

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Wiki User
04/28/2010

Sodium Oxide has the chemical formula Na2O.

There aren't the same amout of these two elements in this compound simply because it is the ions that form the compound, and these ions have charges:

Na+

O2-

when they react, the total charge of the compound produced (Na2O) has to be equal to zero:

+2 (i.e. 2Na+ = 2+) + 2- (i.e. O2- = 2-) = zero!

i.e. the two charges cancel out, making the product (Na2O) having no charge.