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When an s and a p orbital are hybridised to give and sp orbital, two orbitals are produced. According to my chemistry book, there are two orbitals due to in-phase and out-of-phase combinations of the the s and p orbitals. When we progress to sp

^{2}hybridisation, there are three orbitals, but no textbook I have read explains what happended to the in- and out-of-phase interactions.

I played around with different ideas. I know that two p-orbitals on different atoms don't mix when they are not aligned along the same axis because the orbitals have a constructive and destructive interaction - e.g. a p

_{x}and a p

^{y}orbital - so I thought that maybe this needed to be considered; otherwise, I don't see why there is not every combination. Take the s, p

_{y}and p

_{z}orbitals, the combinations seem to be: the in-phase interaction of s and p

_{y}and out-of-phase p

_{z}; all in-phase; s and out-of-phase p

_{x}and in-phase p

_{z}; or all out-of-phase.

See what I mean? For sp, there is an in-phase or out-of-phase interaction, for the sp

^{2}hybridisation this seems to disappear.

Thanks,

Nobahar.