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EXPLAINING THE GEOMETRY OF SIMPLE MOLECULES USING MOLECULAR ORBITAL ENERGY-LEVEL DIAGRAMS BUILT BY USING SYMMETRY PRINCIPLES

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posted on 13.06.2018 by Sérgio P. Machado, Roberto B. Faria

The built of qualitative energy-level molecular diagrams for different geometries of simple molecules allow to explain the preferred geometry. The diagrams are built using simple symmetry principles and explain, on basis of the number of nonbonding electrons, for example, why the molecule of water is bent and not linear and ammonia is pyramidal and not planar. This simple energy principle does not need to consider the Valence Shell Electron-Pair Repulsion theory (VSEPR theory) neither hybrid orbitals to explain the geometry of simple molecules. This discussion is more appropriate to inorganic chemistry courses where symmetry is a common topic.

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