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Chemical Bond

Introduction to the different types of forces of attraction between atoms or ions.

Atoms Practice
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The Name's Bond, Chemical Bond

What is a chemical bond?

Credit: Adam Rifkin
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ifindkarma/8904962810/in/photolist-eyUgcy-8aPWYD-df6P3t-8KAs6J-biJtqp-dyq9ip-cDpKg3-8NPVdQ-dvoyHr/lightbox/
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

First high-resolution image of a molecule breaking down and forming chemical bonds [Figure1]

Atoms are the basic building block of all matter. The strong attractive forces among atoms are created by chemical bonds. When the electrons of these different atoms interact with each other, the particular regions where this takes place induces chemical bonds.

Imagine sitting in the back window seat of your minivan on a stormy day as you and your family embark on your road trip of the country. You are tired of reading all of the books, your Ipod’s music is now too redundant, and your family’s singing is driving you insane. With no other occupation for your mind, you turn to the window and notice how the raindrops slide down the surface. A single raindrop connects to another single raindrop and becomes one. It seems as though the raindrops have certain forces of attraction with purposes of joining others. The movements of these raindrops are in fact incredibly similar to those of atoms’ electrons which form chemical bonds.

Credit: Matthias
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/swissbhoy/3221777045/in/photolist-5UGs56-5UGvPD-5ULNqf-5ULQaG-5ULQUC-5ULRz3-5ULS2U-5ULSv3-5XBKra-6C1u2s-7r4VH2-7vv5G6-dQsHTT-egxjSN-egrzai-egrzAz-egxj57-egxjiq-egrzSK-7AtPbL-8Ecexy-8TDTAH-7FT3Xb-dYePvx-7FT3UQ-7FP7sZ-bX69HZ-9nz72w-bSz1LH-agNSLB-7CroYx-aJXKRT-aaN8PY-bvwy2V-bLh8uv-cxc1dj-9KQ95H-bvnKNX-cVzaNJ-aHkLkg-93kFoa-ajqPA2/lightbox/
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Small raindrops forming larger ones [Figure2]

So why does any of this matter? Because it is matter. Chemistry is literally everything everywhere. As a result, chemical bonding is universal as well. In fact, one of the most important chemical bonds exists throughout your body at this moment: the hemoglobin in your blood. The purpose of hemoglobin is to carry oxygen, the main molecule in blood; this is only possible because of the chemical bonding between hemoglobin and oxygen.

Creative Applications 

  1. How do chemical bonds affect the way electrons interact?
  2. What would happen if chemical bonds didn’t even exist in the world?
  3. What is an easy way to remember the manner in which chemical bonds are created?

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