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Σ and ∏ bonds and hybridization

  1. May 6, 2012 #1
    I am having difficulties understanding the concept of hybridization and the σ and ∏ bonds. My current understanding is that basically you just mix up a p and s orbital and it gives you an sp orbital, and if the bonds touch they are σ bonds, and if the bonds are parallel the are ∏ bonds. I don't see the motive for this theory or what the upshot of all this mumbo jumbo is. Can anyone help clarify? Same with valence bond theory vs. MO theory
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. May 6, 2012 #2
    Hybridization theory was brought in because when you viewed a CH4 molecule, you'd see all the C-H bonds had equal bond lengths and equal angles between them. The original theory of each orbital making its own bond with the other did not yield this, since, s-s, s-p, formed in CH4 would be of different lengths. So basically, to make the theory in acceptance of the observed details, this new idea was introduced.

    Now with this hybrid theory, you get 4 of s-p bonds which was decided to be called sp3 as one s and 3 p are involved.

    This might also be helpful to get a broader picture,
    http://chemistry.boisestate.edu/people/richardbanks/inorganic/bonding%20and%20hybridization/bonding_hybridization.htm [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
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