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I understand how hybridization works, but I'm confused about what's the driving factor for hybridization to occur. for example, Dr. Lavelle gave an example of CH4 in class and said Carbon atom would be hybridized to sp3. So what's driving this hybridization process? how did the electrons just move to in between 2s and 2p?
Hybridization is used to explain why carbon can form 4 bonds with the 4 hydrogen atoms while only having 2 unpaired electrons (from 2p). Since the normal convention states that covalent bonds will share one electron from each atom, then carbon needs to have four unpaired electrons. For this to happen, hybridization creates four equal energy orbitals. Filling out the orbitals using Aufbau's principle gives us four unpaired electrons. 2sp3 is just the average of the 2s and 2p subshells. Hope that makes sense.
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