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Homework Help: Some quick and simple help please - Tetrahedral Compounds

  1. Jan 19, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Could you please describe to me in simple terms how carbon forms tetrahedral compounds as I will need to do some work on it. Thanks. Please make it only a line or 2 (summarize)


    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 19, 2010 #2
    Worked it out myself....
  4. Jan 25, 2010 #3
    Carbon has 4 valence (bonding) electrons, and four atomic orbitals- s, px, py, pz. The S is spherical, the p's are dumbbells, oriented in each of three orthoganal directions. These can be re-shuffled (linear combinations of atomic orbitals) to four sp3 orbitals. These are spatially oriented to stick out in four directions to the four corners of a tetrahedron. The carbon forms covalent bonds with four other atoms.
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