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Electronegativity is a measure of the electron attracting power of an atom, or group of atoms, in a molecule. Several electronegativity scales exist, based on different physical properties, but all of them are highly correlated. Electronegativity is used for a variety of purposes in chemistry, providing both an intuitive concept with which to rationalize chemical trends and values that are highly correlated with a number of chemical and physical properties.


Electronegativityis one of the most ambiguously defined but useful concepts commonly employed in chemistry. In 1806, Humphry Davy posited that the chemical affinity between two substances was related to the degree of difference in their electrical properties, i.e., their ability to obtain and hold positive or negative charge. Avogadro expanded upon it and gave similar suggestions in 1809, when he envisioned a relative scale on which all simple...


  • Dissociation Energy
  • Partial Charge
  • Carbon Capture
  • Bond Dissociation Energy
  • Covalent Radius

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Correspondence to Barry R. Bickmore or Matthew C. F. Wander .

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Bickmore, B.R., Wander, M.C.F. (2016). Electronegativity. In: White, W. (eds) Encyclopedia of Geochemistry. Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series. Springer, Cham.

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