Why is tetrahedral the most stable?

In summary, a regular tetrahedron with an angle of nearly 109 degrees and 28 minutes is the arrangement that allows four points to be maximum apart from each other around a fixed center, assuming the points are all symmetrical about the center. This arrangement is favored in the structures of molecules like CH4 because it minimizes repulsion between individual atoms.
  • #1
Abhijeet Verma
8
0
How do we prove that tetrahedral arrangement is the arrangement which allows 4 points to be maximum apart from each other about a fixed centre, assuming that the points are all symmetrical about the centre.
(I am asking in context of the structures of the molecules like CH4, since there the structure is favoured since it allows the individual atoms to be maximum apart and hence minimise repulsion)
 
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  • #2
Abhijeet Verma said:
How do we prove that tetrahedral arrangement is the arrangement which allows 4 points to be maximum apart from each other about a fixed centre, assuming that the points are all symmetrical about the centre.

Any four points determine a tetrahedon.
 
  • #3
Sorry, by tetrahedral arrangement, i mean a tetrahedral with an angle of nearly 109deg. 28 min.
 
  • #4
Regular tetrahedron.
 

Related to Why is tetrahedral the most stable?

1. Why do tetrahedral molecules have the most stable structure?

Tetrahedral molecules have the most stable structure because they have the lowest potential energy. This is due to the arrangement of atoms in a tetrahedral shape, which allows for the maximum distance between atoms and minimizes repulsion forces.

2. How does tetrahedral geometry contribute to stability?

Tetrahedral geometry contributes to stability through the distribution of electron density. The four bonds in a tetrahedral molecule are arranged at equal angles, providing a balanced distribution of electron density and minimizing potential energy.

3. What factors determine the stability of a tetrahedral molecule?

The stability of a tetrahedral molecule is determined by the arrangement of atoms and the distribution of electron density. The type and strength of chemical bonds, as well as the size and shape of the atoms, also play a role in determining stability.

4. Are there any exceptions to tetrahedral molecules being the most stable?

While tetrahedral molecules are generally considered the most stable, there are some exceptions. For example, molecules with double or triple bonds may have a different geometry that is more stable. Additionally, steric hindrance or other factors may cause a molecule to adopt a different, more stable shape.

5. How does molecular symmetry affect the stability of tetrahedral molecules?

Molecular symmetry can play a role in the stability of tetrahedral molecules. When a molecule has high symmetry, such as perfect tetrahedral symmetry, it can have a lower energy state and be more stable. However, if the molecule has low symmetry, it may have a higher potential energy and be less stable.

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