Which diagram of water molecules is correct?

In summary: It is very informative.In summary, there is no one "right" way to draw a covalent or Lewis structure. It is just a convention that some textbooks use. The important thing is to be aware of the underlying logic behind the diagram, and to not let the convention become a fact.
  • #1
lioric
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TL;DR Summary
Which way is the correct way to draw dot and cross covalent structures
I've seen both types of diagrams when drawing covalent dot and cross diagrams. And some students that I teach said that the electrons should be on the circles.
But I do know that this is actually showing the electron overlap and electron field and in reality electrons are not in circular orbits, it's more complex than that. So is either of these correct?
 

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  • #2
No. These are representations. Models/simulacra/...
 
  • #3
Students new to Chemistry often take the representations meant to learn something like, maybe bonding, but they take it literally and assume these have direct physical meaning. Just because you can draw it does not make it reality. Example: I can draw unicorns.
 
  • #4
Thank you very much for your input
May I know the proper way to draw the dot cross / Lewis structure
 
  • #5
lioric said:
proper way
You will have to tell us a bit more about yourself to give us an idea which "proper way" applies; age, professional/amateur/physicist/chemist/biologist/geologist... We can see what you're asking; just ask the question. What do you actually want to know?
 
  • #6
Bystander said:
You will have to tell us a bit more about yourself to give us an idea which "proper way" applies; age, professional/amateur/physicist/chemist/biologist/geologist... We can see what you're asking; just ask the question. What do you actually want to know?
For grade 8,9,10 chemistry students
 
  • #7
lioric said:
For grade 8,9,10
Thank you.
 
  • #8
There is no such thing as a "proper way" here. There are conventions of drawing the diagram, you can freely choose whichever suits you best (preferably the one course textbook uses, it will make easier for you and your students to discuss the bonds). But the important thing here is: don't let the convention become a "fact". Diagram is a way of expressing some underlying logic, convention is a way of drawing the diagram - it is the underlying logic that is important, everything else is secondary.

(Actually even this "logic" is a simplification of reality and is in a way secondary to what is really going on in molecules).
 
  • Like
Likes Bystander, BillTre and lioric
  • #9
Borek said:
There is no such thing as a "proper way" here. There are conventions of drawing the diagram, you can freely choose whichever suits you best (preferably the one course textbook uses, it will make easier for you and your students to discuss the bonds). But the important thing here is: don't let the convention become a "fact". Diagram is a way of expressing some underlying logic, convention is a way of drawing the diagram - it is the underlying logic that is important, everything else is secondary.

(Actually even this "logic" is a simplification of reality and is in a way secondary to what is really going on in molecules).
Thank you very much for all your input. When I talk here it always dawn's up on me for how little I know and that there is so much of knowledge out there.
I really appreciate your help.
I'll consider this as resolved
 
  • #11
DrDu said:
You are a teacher? Then maybe you ought to consult an introductory text on theoretical chemistry, like (the first decent looking find in google):
http://simons.hec.utah.edu/NewUndergradBook/TableofContents.html
Yes I'm a teacher.
I just wanted to see if drawing in either method would be wrong
I do know it's a concept and neither of them is how real structure looks like
Thank you for the link
 

Related to Which diagram of water molecules is correct?

1. What is the correct diagram of water molecules?

The most commonly accepted diagram of water molecules is the V-shaped or bent structure, where two hydrogen atoms are bonded to one oxygen atom.

2. How is the V-shaped structure of water molecules determined?

The V-shaped structure of water molecules is determined by the arrangement of electrons around the oxygen atom, which creates a slightly negative charge on one side and a slightly positive charge on the other.

3. Are there any other diagrams of water molecules besides the V-shaped one?

There are other diagrams that have been proposed for water molecules, such as the linear structure or the tetrahedral structure. However, the V-shaped structure is the most widely accepted and supported by experimental evidence.

4. Why is the V-shaped structure of water molecules important?

The V-shaped structure of water molecules is important because it affects the physical and chemical properties of water, such as its boiling point, surface tension, and ability to form hydrogen bonds. This structure also allows water to dissolve many substances, making it essential for life.

5. Can the V-shaped structure of water molecules change?

The V-shaped structure of water molecules is a fundamental characteristic of water and cannot be changed without altering its chemical composition. However, the angle between the two hydrogen atoms can vary slightly under different conditions, such as temperature and pressure, but the overall V-shape remains the same.

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