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I'm still having a difficult time understanding for hybridization works. Can someone please explain why hybridization happens and why its possible? For example, I just don't get how we can decide that an 2sp^3 oribital exists for ammonia (we did this example in class today).
Hybridization has to occur for an atom to have the correct number of hybridized orbitals to make the correct number of bonds in a molecule. For example, carbon as an atom has a full 2s orbital, two 2p orbitals with unpaired electrons, and one empty 2p orbital. Therefore, it has 2 unpaired electrons available to make bonds. However, we know carbon makes four bonds, so we have to hybridize, or rearrange the electrons and orbitals. We do that by combining the one 2s and three 2p orbitals into four 2sp3 orbitals. Because carbon has 4 electrons, there can be one unpaired electron in each 2sp3 orbital, and carbon can thus make four bonds, which we already know it does. Hope this helps!
To add on, the "correct" number of hybridization orbitals is a consequence of the atom reaching minimal energy when it forms a bond. Atomic orbitals hybridize when the atom is bonding to other atoms, so that the atom can be less energetic.
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