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Chemistry: Bonding and Structure in Covalent Compounds

Bonding and Structure in Covalent Compounds

I've got good news and bad news for you: The good news is that you now understand that covalent molecules are formed when two atoms with similar electronegativities react with one another. The bad news is that we don't yet know how this happens.

As it turns out, electronegativity isn't enough to explain the bewildering variety of covalent compounds that exist. It explains why we see covalent bonds, but explains neither the shapes of the molecules that are formed nor the number of bonds they want to form.

In this section, we're going to talk about the mysteries of hybrid orbitals, the Valence Shell Electron Pair Repulsion Theory (VSEPR), and Lewis structures. It's not a section for the faint of heart, but I have full confidence that you'll get through it without too much trouble.

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Chemistry © 2003 by Ian Guch. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

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