Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Basic atom & molecule physics

  1. Dec 29, 2003 #1
    basic atom & molecule physics

    After 30 views, I hadn't received any replies to this thread as posted in the "atoms" forum. Perhaps someone here can help me out.


    1. Why exactly does a covalent bond work? I understand how the electrons fill up the shells and so forth, but why does it work. Is the bond caused by the two atoms "competing" for the same electron that pulls them together? Is that a correct analogy?

    2. Are electrons EXACTLY the same charge as the proton?

    3. How is the bond angle in H2O predicted by physics?

    4. What dictates how many electrons can occupy a shell?
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2003
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 9, 2004 #2

    jimmy p

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    ok, i have to admit that i saw this post but didnt have the correct material to answer...im not sure if i do but what the hey, ill give it a shot!!

    1. A covalent bond works i suppose because of the amount of electrons in the outer shell. If an atom needed an electron to fill its shell, and make the atom stable, and another atom had one electron in its outer shell then, it would 'want' to lose that atom so it could have a stable outer shell. So as you know, they bond, but SHARE the electron. Ionic bonds compete for the electron, whereas i suppose the covalent bonds are mutual.

    2. Electrons are exactly the same charge as a proton.

    3. Bond angles are predicted for H20 because that is the furthest the bonds can be away from each other. The reason it isnt 180 degrees is because the Oxygen has 2 lone pairs of electrons which have more repulsive power than any bond.

    4. Nothing other than the attraction of the nucleus determines how many electrons in the atom/ion. However it depends on the shape of the electron orbitals which determine how many electrons. The electrons repel themselves away as much as possible, so i suppose that the amount in each shell would be due to the repulsion of the electrons and the size of the shell.

    I hope this has been some use to you

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook