Highly Distorted Electrons?

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Nicholas Carpo 1L
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:19 am

Highly Distorted Electrons?

Postby Nicholas Carpo 1L » Fri Nov 02, 2018 2:17 pm

During today's lecture, there was a slide that said "Highly distorted electrons are described as being highly polarizable." Can someone please explain what this means? And also how do you know if the electrons are highly distorted? Thanks!

Samantha Kwock 1D
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:24 am

Re: Highly Distorted Electrons?

Postby Samantha Kwock 1D » Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:10 pm

I think the term"highly distorted" electrons is referring to the electron cloud surrounding the anion participating in an ionic bond. If the bonded cation's charge attracts the electrons from the anion, the electron cloud becomes "distorted," and the anion is described as being highly polarizable. Electrons belonging to large anions are more likely to be described as being "distorted."

Michael Torres 4I
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Re: Highly Distorted Electrons?

Postby Michael Torres 4I » Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:39 pm

What this means is that in ionic bonds, the cation may distort the electrons on the anion. Although this is an ionic bond in which the anion has pulled the electrons away from the cation, the cation's positive charge still affects the electrons around the anion. Thus, the anion electrons' orbitals may be affected by the cation's charge although they are not shared.

There exists a trend that larger anions will become less polarized because more electrons protect each other from the cation's charge through the shielding effect. Additionally, larger atoms have more protons, so these protons of the anion act to reduce the effect of the cation's positive charge.

Jeremy Feng 1A
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Re: Highly Distorted Electrons?

Postby Jeremy Feng 1A » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:58 pm

The same effect causes some ionic bonds to have covalent character and some covalent bonds to have ionic character.

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