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If you look at the periodic table, you will notice that carbon is in the 4th column and oxygen is in 6th column. This means that they will have 4 and 6 electrons on them in their most stable state. Both follow the octet rule, so they will have 8 electrons near them, but in order to have 4 or 6 they will have to share with bonds. :O:=C=:O: That is what CO2 looks like, see how carbon has 2 double bonds to have 4 electrons near it and 8 in all while oxygen has 2 lone pairs and 1 double bond to have 6 around it?
yes so no double bonds count for a single bonds?
I think that the octet rule is that each atom in a molecule will be associated with eight valence electrons if those atoms have atomic numbers less than 20. To explain further: carbon has four valence electrons and they are involved with four electrons from the two oxygens. So this makes eight all together and they are all shared so none are in "lone pairs". Oxygen, on the other hand, has 6 valence electrons and so only needs 2 for the octet rule. another way of putting it is that oxygen only needs two electrons to have a very stable electron configuration, like a noble gas. So in our question about carbon dioxide, each oxygen has four electrons in lone pairs (two each) since the other four are involved in the double bonds. So that makes four lone pairs and four double bonds altogether. If you want more info, look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octet_rule