What is formula for sodium oxide?  

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Our first point should be to check the periodic table and evaluate the types of atoms being bonded. Generally speaking, bonds between metals have metallic bonds, bonds between nonmetals have covalent bonds, and metal-nonmetals have ionic bonds. This is going to be an ionic bond, so we need to evaluate...

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Our first point should be to check the periodic table and evaluate the types of atoms being bonded. Generally speaking, bonds between metals have metallic bonds, bonds between nonmetals have covalent bonds, and metal-nonmetals have ionic bonds. This is going to be an ionic bond, so we need to evaluate these atoms in terms of their most probable ionic charges. Metals tend to have positive charges, and nonmetals negative.

Sodium is a metal, located in the first column of the table, which means its ionic charge is going to be +1 (since that's the easiest way for it to have 8 outer electrons). Oxygen is going to have a charge of -2, because that's the easiest way for it to have 8 outer electrons as well.

From here, it's just a matter of canceling out the charges; one sodium and one oxygen would produce an overall charge of -1, but if we add another sodium the total charge is 0.

Therefore the formula for sodium oxide should be `Na_2 O`

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