Covalent Bonds

Science questions not covered in Chem 14A and 14B. Try to limit questions to chemistry (inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry, organic chemistry, biophysical chemistry, biochemistry, materials science, environmental chemistry).

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Sean Monji 2B
Posts: 66
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:06 am

Covalent Bonds

Postby Sean Monji 2B » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:05 am

I understand from a physics standpoint that atoms which are held by ionic bonds are pulled together through electromagnetic forces, but what force holds covalent bonded atoms together, such as H2? Or rather, what makes sharing electrons amongst atoms with free valence electrons pull these atoms together, becoming more stable?

David Minasyan 1C
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:00 am

Re: Covalent Bonds

Postby David Minasyan 1C » Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:40 pm

I would think that the attraction between the nuclei of the atoms and the electrons of the other atom are stronger than the repulsion between the two nuclei of those atoms and that holds covalently bonded atoms together.

Sean Monji 2B
Posts: 66
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:06 am

Re: Covalent Bonds

Postby Sean Monji 2B » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:17 pm

Ah that makes sense. I guess my question is more specifically what causes atoms to require their valence levels to be "full" when normally the atoms would repel each other, like when some elements desire to share electrons while others receive electrons (is there a specific forces)?

Sean Monji 2B
Posts: 66
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:06 am

Re: Covalent Bonds

Postby Sean Monji 2B » Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:46 pm

Welp in case anyone cares, the reason electrons tend to pair up and chemically bond in atoms with un filled orbitals despite being without charge is that they can. If a lone hydrogen atom with one electron meets another, the electrons will be able to jump between each other’s orbitals when the orbitals of each atom overlap. When two electrons orbit the other atom, they will be attracted and vice versa. This is the same in all covalent bonds.

If I’m wrong about this, please correct me. I’ve tried to find the answer, but most on google just say “because atoms are more stable with full orbitals” instead of why they are more stable.


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