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Chemical Bonds

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Part of the Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series book series (EESS)


Linus Pauling famously described a chemical bond as “whatever is convenient to the chemist to define as a bond” (Pauling, 1960). In the simplest terms, a chemical bond is merely an attraction between atoms in a substance containing an aggregation of two or more atoms. However, while all bonds are based on the attraction between positively charged protons and negatively charged electrons, quantum mechanical effects governing the spatial distribution of electrons give rise to a wide range of bond properties and a continuum of bond types. The standard types include covalent, metallic, ionic, hydrogen, and van der Waals bonds (Gillespie and Popelier, 2001).

Traditional Valence Bonds

The strongest chemical bonds (covalent, metallic, and ionic) are sometimes called “valence bonds,” due to the fact that they are formed when partially filled valence atomic orbitals combine to create molecular orbitals (Albright et al., 2013). The average spatial distribution of electrons (the...


  • Molecular Orbital
  • Bond Energy
  • Bond Order
  • Carbon Capture
  • Valence Bond

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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). Chemical Bonds. In: White, W. (eds) Encyclopedia of Geochemistry. Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series. Springer, Cham.

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