Chem1 Chemical Bonding

The twenty lessons in the Chemical Bonding set cover most of the aspects of this subject that are usually taught in first-year college and university Chemistry courses. The intention, as in all of the Chem1 lessons, is to get students actively engaged in thinking about the basic concepts by asking questions and forcing them to make decisions. An important theme that runs through all of these lessons is that our working theories of chemical bonding are based on models which have varying degrees of applicability to different kinds of systems. Although no special prerequisites are assumed, some previous exposure to the fundamentals of quantum mechanics, particularly the Uncertainty Principle, would be useful.

Lesson contents

The lessons are divided into four groups, each of which can be used independently. The lessons in each group are selected by a menu. The menu in the first group allows access to the other groups.

1 - Introduction to Chemical Bonding.

2 - Molecular shapes

3 - Hybrid Atomic Orbital model of chemical bonding

Although hybridization no longer gets the play it once did in textbooks, it is still a concept that students are expected to be familiar with in subsequent courses. These lessons might also serve as a review for students beginning courses in organic chemistry.

4 - Molecular Orbitals

This group of six lessons covers the basics of the molecular orbital model at the level commonly required in first-year courses. The major objective is to get the student to be able to predict the bond orders in diatomic molecules of the first- and second-row elements. An introductory lesson develops the basic idea of the splitting of atomic orbitals into bonding and antibonding pairs. Two final lessons show how this basic idea can be applied to transition metal complexes and to metals and semiconductors, without attempting to treat either of these large subjects thoroughly.


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