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Difference between many chemically related terms?

  1. Sep 17, 2016 #1
    In chemistry, chemical bonding is a very important topic.
    What I can't really understand is the interrelation of different theories which explains the same kind of thing, like for structure of any compound there are theories like Valence bond theory or VSEPR or molecular orbital theory.
    I am having trouble in understanding the relationship & the basic core of all these theories....!!!
    Help is must needed.....!!!!
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 17, 2016 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Sorry, we can't do work for you, and your question is way too general to answer.

    Please read about all these theories and come back when you have specific questions. Or try to post a specific question if you have one.
  4. Sep 19, 2016 #3


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    Gold Member

    These is an extremely general question. It is actually hard for me to answer.

    Valence bond theory, VSEPR, and molecular orbital theory are all related in a sense that they are trying to explain bonds, specifically the stability (energy) of the bond, the shape of the molecule arising from such bond, interpretation of bond structure, etc. Their ultimate goal would be to predict what kind of bond, and therefore the molecule we would get from reaction of atoms. The difference is the way each theory approaches to achieve the answer.

    In summary, same goal, different method.
  5. Sep 21, 2016 #4


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    Science Advisor

    You should consider to consult a book on Quantum chemistry. Almost all have a chapter where the different approaches are compared. Maybe Ira Levine, "Quantum Chemistry" is not too hard a starting point.
  6. Sep 21, 2016 #5
    While they are all related, as stated, they do different things. VB was an initial attempt to understand chemical bonding based on the idea of valency. Atoms use valence electrons to gorm bonds. VSEPR uses the idea that electrons repel and the molecule adopts a specific geometry in order to achieve the least repulsion possible. MO theory describes bonding in terms of the combination of atomic orbitals from atoms to form MO's based on symmetry. VB can predict certain things that MO cannot and vice versa. Both theories are efficient in their own way and both are needed to understand chemical bonding. There is no single theory to get a complete picture although in my opinion MO theory is more detailed.
  7. Sep 24, 2016 #6
    Read Linus Pauling "The Nature of the Chemical Bond"
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