Physics » Condensed Matter Physics » Types of Molecular Bonds

Introducing Types of Molecular Bonds

Introducing Types of Molecular Bonds

Quantum mechanics has been extraordinarily successful at explaining the structure and bonding in molecules, and is therefore the foundation for all of chemistry. Quantum chemistry, as it is sometimes called, explains such basic questions as why \({\text{H}}_{2}\text{O}\) molecules exist, why the bonding angle between hydrogen atoms in this molecule is precisely \(104.5\text{°}\), and why these molecules bind together to form liquid water at room temperature. Applying quantum mechanics to molecules can be very difficult mathematically, so our discussion will be qualitative only.

As we study molecules and then solids, we will use many different scientific models. In some cases, we look at a molecule or crystal as a set of point nuclei with electrons whizzing around the outside in well-defined trajectories, as in the Bohr model. In other cases, we employ our full knowledge of quantum mechanics to study these systems using wave functions and the concept of electron spin. It is important to remember that we study modern physics with models, and that different models are useful for different purposes. We do not always use the most powerful model, when a less-powerful, easier-to-use model will do the job.

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