What types of chemical bonds exist that allow the creation of matter?



A chemical bond is when two atoms are held together by a force of attraction. Chemists have long struggled over a definition to a chemical bond. In 1916, Gilbert Newton Lewis challenged the definition, stating that chemical bonds are when two atoms come together due to the electron’s need to interact. If there are eight electrons in a valence shell, they are thought to be more stable. Lewis believed that atoms bonded due to lack of electrons in a valence shell. When two chemicals bond, it creates a new substance named compounds.


Table salt is an example of chemical bonding. Two elements combine to make table salt- sodium and chlorine, both of which are dangerous on their own. In World War I, chlorine was used as a weapon. When sodium is exposed to a liquid, it is highly flammable and can get out of hand. Together, they make a component that is safe enough to be considered edible, even though too much can be attributed to high cholesterol. There are many examples of chemical bonding, yet this is the most popular example, even though most only think of salt as the thing found in the ocean.


Covalent bonding happens when atoms share electrons. There are three forms of covalent bonding: single, double, and triple. Single is when only one electron is shared. Double is with two shared electrons and triple is with three. Covalent bonding only exists when two or more elements share electrons. Scientists use the Lewis Dot Structure to tell the amount of valence electrons in an atom. How it works is simple: the number of valence electrons are represented on the periodic table near the element. Oxygen usually has six valence electrons, so six dots would be next to the “O” in the periodic table. Some elements have electrons that are not all valence electrons. For example, only seven out of seventeen electrons in the element of chlorine are valence electrons.


Ionic bonding is another type of bonding and one of the most common. In this type of bonding, electrons in the atom are transported from one atom to the next. When atoms react-meaning that the electrons are either being negatively charged or losing the charge-they form ions. Metals and nonmetals reacting are a sign of ionic bonding. When produced to extreme heat, ionic compounds can form crystals. It is also possible for them to conduct electricity. Table salt can again be used as an example. When the sodium loses a valence electron, the chlorine gains one. The sodium decreases in size while the chlorine grows. When listing ionic compounds, the metal appears before the nonmetal. I.e., sodium chloride.


Hydrogen bonding is the third type of chemical bonding. When two molecules are shared in a hydrogen atom, hydrogen bonding occurs. Polarity is also found in hydrogen. This means that the compounds are not balanced. Hydrogen bonds with oxygen to make water molecules. Hydrogen and carbon make methane. Hydrogen and nitrogen form ammonia. Hydrogen and chlorine come together to make hydrogen chloride.



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"Lewis Dot Structure." Grandinetti Laboratory. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Feb. 2011. <http://school.nettrekker.com/goExternal?np=/external.ftl&pp=/error.ftl&evlCode=128791&productName=school&HOMEPAGE=M>.