Tips for the Teacher
Language of Chemistry
Patterns of Recognition
Common Student Misconceptions
Return to Table of Contents
Here's a minimal glossary of terms useful in discussing chemical bonding.
- Coordination number the number of ions of opposite charge that surround each ion in a crystal
- Covalent bond the simultaneous attraction by two atomic nuclei for one or more electrons (usually an electron pair)
- Dipole interaction a weak intermolecular force resulting from the attraction of oppositely charged regions of polar molecules
- Double or triple covalent bond a covalent bond in which two and three pairs of electrons, respectively, are shared by two atoms
- Hydrogen bond a relatively strong intermolecular force in which a hydrogen atom covalently bonded to a very electronegative atom is also weakly bonded to an unshared electron pair of a strongly electronegative atom in the same or adjacent molecule
- Ionic bond the electrostatic attraction that binds oppositely charged ions together
- Lewis-dot structure a notation that depicts valence electrons as dots around the atomic symbol of the element; the symbol represents the inner electrons and atomic nucleus; also called an electron-dot structure
- London forces the weakest type of intermolecular attraction; can be thought due to motion of electrons leading to temporary dipoles. These temporary dipoles, in turn, induce opposite temporary dipoles in adjacent molecules, thus causing weak electrostatic attraction.
- Metallic bond the force of attraction that holds metals together; it consists of the attraction of free-moving valence electrons for positively-charged metal kernels
- Molecular solid a solid consisting of molecules weakly attracted to each other by van der Waals forces (London forces or dipole-dipole forces) or hydrogen bonding
- Network solid a solid in which all atoms are covalently bonded to each other in one, two, or three dimensions
- Nonpolar covalent bond a homonuclear bond formed when atoms in the molecule are alike and bonding electrons are equally shared
- Octet rule atoms react by gaining or losing electrons so as to acquire the stable electron structure of a noble gas, usually eight valence electrons.
- Polar bond a bond formed when two different atoms are joined by a covalent bond and the bonding electrons are unequally shared
- Van der Waals force a term used to describe the weakest intermolecular attractions; these include London forces and dipole interactions
- Valence electron an electron in the highest occupied energy level of an atom.
Chemical Bonding (BOND)