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I understand that resonance is when a bond is a hybrid of a single and double, for example. However, I thought that the word "resonance" only applied when describing the bond type. Sometimes in class, Lavelle talks about Resonance "Structures". What is that exactly, if it is not referring to the bond?
Resonance structures are just all of the possible Lewis structures that work for the atom when it has resonance, representing that the bonding of the resonance hybrid is an average of the resonance structure.
A resonance structure is when there are different forms of a molecule where all formal charges and bonds are the same but they are distributed around the structure differently. Meaning the different possible structures for the same molecule with the lowest formal charges distributed differently.
A resonance structure would be possible ways to draw the Lewis structure of a molecule which has resonance, multiple bonds can be drawn in different locations, the actual structure would be a blend of all the different structures.
Resonance structure refers to the bonds in that there are different bond combinations that are possible as lewis structures, BUT none of them are correct. Because electrons move around and are not actually held in straight line bonds, structures intermediate to the ones shown as lewis structures are what they actually exist as, and that is the resonance structure that Lavelle is referring to.
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