What do delta positive and delta negative refer to?

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Ayesha Aslam-Mir 3C
Posts: 112
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:43 pm

What do delta positive and delta negative refer to?

Postby Ayesha Aslam-Mir 3C » Sun Nov 15, 2020 2:56 pm

I know they have to do with the general charge as the electron is puleld between atoms, but I'm not sure specifically what they refer to and how they apply specifically to ionic and covalent bonding-- I did catch how electronegativity is at play there, but still not sure how the delta is involved.

Also, how would we know whether to assign an atom (as part of a compound) a delta negative or delta positive?

David Facio 1K
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:38 pm

Re: What do delta positive and delta negative refer to?

Postby David Facio 1K » Sun Nov 15, 2020 4:26 pm

The delta charges refer to the general area of a molecule where electrons are accumulated/clustered together,
causing an unequal distribution or sharing of electrons.

This can be due to different factors, such as electronegativity of a particular atom.

The way to determine where to place the delta+ or delta- is by drawing the lewis structure and calculating the formal charge.

The formal charge helps you find the most stable lewis structure.

The atom with the highest electronegativity will attract the most electrons, making that region delta- and the other region delta+


Hope this helps :)

Kaylee Messick 3J
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:54 pm

Re: What do delta positive and delta negative refer to?

Postby Kaylee Messick 3J » Sun Nov 15, 2020 4:40 pm

To answer your question about ionic and covalent bonding, in an ionic bond, there would be a gain or loss of electrons, making the entire molecule have a charge. In a covalent bond, which is when the electrons are being shared, there might be equal or unequal sharing of electrons. When electrons are shared unequally, it makes certain regions of the molecule more positive or negative as the electrons move to one side. This is when we refer to the sides being delta positive or delta negative, as mentioned above. Hope this helps!

AlbertGu_2C
Posts: 86
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:34 pm

Re: What do delta positive and delta negative refer to?

Postby AlbertGu_2C » Sun Nov 15, 2020 5:21 pm

The negative sign in this unit usually means the subject has an attractive force. This would mean that the part of the atom that has the highest electronegativity would have a delta negative. Hope this helped!


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