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So we talked about in lecture about how the bond length in a resonance structure is a number in between the two types of bonds because the e- forms a cloud. If that is the case, how could this cloud of electrons have a bond length at all?
I think that the bond lengths are more of an arbitrary approximation to gauge which atoms share how many electrons between their electron clouds. The more electrons that they share in close proximity (i.e. how many bonds they have between each other), the closer the electrons will be between those atoms.
I think that the bond lengths are based on the probabilities of where the electron clouds are most likely to be. So when two atoms share electrons, the electron clouds are combined and the bond length is how long that probable electron cloud space is between the atoms
Bond length is the distance between the two nuclei of the elements. The electron clouds influence bond lengths by making the elements farther/closer from each other with electron-electron repulsion.
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