MCAT General Chemistry Review - Alexander Stone Macnow, MD 2019-2020

Bonding and Chemical Interactions

This chapter built on our knowledge of the atom and the trends demonstrated by the elements in the periodic table to explain the different ways by which atoms partner together to form compounds, either by exchanging electrons to form ions, which are then held together by electrostatic attractions between opposite charges; or by sharing electrons to form covalent bonds. We discussed the nature and characteristics of covalent bonds, noting their relative lengths and energies, as well as polarities. A review of Lewis dot structures and VSEPR theory will prepare you for predicting likely bond arrangements, resonance structures, and molecular geometries. Finally, we compared the relative strengths of the most important intermolecular electrostatic interactions, noting that even the strongest of these—hydrogen bonding—is still much weaker than an actual covalent bond. The next time you’re “browning” some of your food in a pan or the oven, take a moment to consider what’s happening at the atomic and molecular level. It’s not just cooking; it’s science!