Lecture 12 - Overlap and Atom-Pair Bonds

Freshman Organic Chemistry I

Yale

This lecture begins by applying the united-atom "plum-pudding" view of molecular orbitals, introduced in the previous lecture, to more complex molecules. It then introduces the more utilitarian concept of localized pairwise bonding between atoms. Formulating an atom-pair molecular orbital as the sum of atomic orbitals creates an electron difference density through the cross product that enters upon squaring a sum. This "overlap" term is the key to bonding. The hydrogen molecule is used to illustrate how close a simple sum of atomic orbitals comes to matching reality, especially when the atomic orbitals are allowed to hybridize.

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