Chemical Interaction

The axioms that underpin any theory of chemical interaction were clearly stated by Kekulé, in the middle of the 19th century, as a theory of chemical affinity [16]. Restated in modern terminology:
  • interatomic interaction is defined to be mediated by electrons;

  • radicals that remain intact during chemical reaction are holistic molecular fragments;

  • the way in which atoms stack together in molecules or radicals depend on the electronic configuration of the elements concerned;

  • molecular shape — left undefined by Kekulé — can be ascribed to the minimization of orbital angular momentum.

To build a theory on these axioms it is necessary to have a clear understanding of the assumed nature of the electron and the conditions under which electron exchange between atoms becomes possible. These conditions will be taken to define an atomic valence state. The electronic configuration that dictates the mode of interaction between atoms of different elements will be interpreted to define the quantum potential energy of a valence electron in the valence state of an atom. This quantity will be shown to correspond to what has traditionally been defined empirically as the electronegativity of an atom.


Chemical Interaction Interatomic Distance Valence Electron Dissociation Energy Bond Order 
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© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2008

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