# When does resonance take place?

Tags:
1. Feb 8, 2015

### kay

As in what are the conditions for resonance (i.e. in oganic chemistry) to occur? Sometimes it occurs, sometimes it doesn't; for reasons unknown. A little help please? :/

2. Feb 8, 2015

### Quantum Defect

Generally, if you can draw different Lewis structures with different arrangements of double bonds, then the different structures are resonance structures. Some resonance structures may be more or less important. All resonance structures are not create equal -- some represent higher energy structures.

3. Feb 8, 2015

### kay

What i meant to say was that when does resonance occur? what are the conditions necessary for resonance to take place? I'm not asking how to draw resonating structures. My mind was searching for the fact on the basis of which i would be able to decide whether i COULD make resonating structures or not

4. Feb 8, 2015

### Quantum Defect

I don't know of any ready way (without drawing resonance structures) to tell, a priori, that resonance structures are there. Generally, you need some multiple bonds, possibly some lone pairs. But the presence of these does not guarantee that resonance structures are important to describe the molecule.

You can see experimental evidence of resonance if you know things like bond lengths for your structure that you can compare to typical bond lengths. I.e. if the experimental bond length is intermediate between a typical single bond and a typical double bond, you are likely to have resonance structures where the bond in question is either single, or double, depending upon the resonance stucture.

The presence of resonance structures may also be revealed through other experimental measurements (dipole moments, thermochemical data, etc.)

5. Feb 8, 2015

6. Feb 9, 2015

### DrDu

That's kind of a difficult question. In general, you need much more resonance structures than you are usually considering in introductory classes. E.g. to describe a simple molecule like $\mathrm{H_2}$ starting from its atomic orbitals you need to include H-H, H$^+$H$^-$ and H$^-$H$^+$.

7. Feb 10, 2015

### kay

Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook