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Theoretical Chemistry Accounts

, Volume 108, Issue 3, pp 134–142 | Cite as

The fundamental nature and role of the electrostatic potential in atoms and molecules

  • Peter Politzer
  • Jane S. Murray
Feature article

Abstract.

 A variety of atomic and molecular properties can be expressed in terms of the electrostatic potential. These include energies, covalent and anionic radii, electronegativities (chemical potentials) and a variety of properties that depend upon noncovalent interactons. We present a survey of such relationships, which may be exact or approximate; they may involve the potential in three-dimensional space, along the axes between bonded atoms, at nuclei or on molecular surfaces. Thus, the electrostatic potential, which is rigorously related to the electronic density by Poisson's equation, can be regarded as, effectively, another fundamental determinant of atomic and molecular properties.

Key words: Electrostatic potentials – Energies – Covalent and anionic radii – Electronegativities – Noncovalent interactions 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Politzer
    • 1
  • Jane S. Murray
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry, University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA 70148, USAUS

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