In the ozone–oxygen cycle,
molecules of ozone, O3, absorb ultraviolet light to split into oxygen gas and an
individual atom of oxygen. What is the chemical equation for
In this problem, we need to
identify the chemical equation for the decomposition of ozone. Before we begin to answer this
question, we should first identify the chemical formula for each chemical substance
within the question.
An individual oxygen atom has the
chemical formula O, and oxygen gas is diatomic and has the chemical formula O2. Finally, ozone has the chemical
formula O3. Let us now describe the
decomposition process and determine the associated chemical equation.
The decomposition of ozone occurs
as an ozone molecule absorbs high-energy ultraviolet radiation. The ozone molecule splits into
diatomic oxygen gas and an oxygen atom as it absorbs this light energy. We can see that the O3 molecule is
the reactant of this decomposition process, and the products are diatomic oxygen and
an oxygen atom. The chemical equation for the
decomposition process must have the O3 formula on the left side of the reaction
arrow. It must have the O2 and O chemical
formulas on the right side of the reaction arrow.
Therefore, the correct answer
choice for the chemical equation is O3 yields O2 plus O.