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For the most part, hybridization is used to ensure that the correct number of electrons are free for bonding. Hybridization also helps with stability. Typically, All you need to understand is that if 2 bonds need to be formed, the hybridization is sp; 3 bonds is sp2; and 4 bonds is sp3.
Hybridization is a way of explaining why certain atoms form the bonds they do -- in the case of Carbon, which only has two unpaired electrons to form bonds, the sp3 hybridization model explains why carbon is capable of forming 4 bonds.
You can find the hybridization of an atom by finding the number of bonding regions plus the number of lone pairs around the central atom (steric number). If the steric number is 4, the atom is s p 3 hybridized. If the steric number is 3, the atom is s p 2 hybridized.
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