Variations on the Basic Idea
|Although the basic idea is that a covalent bond is the sharing of
electrons between atoms, there are many ways this can happen. Usually, the electrons
are shared between two atoms, but they can be shared by several
|Usually two electrons are shared, but there can
be more. Two electrons shared between two atoms is called a single bond.
Four electrons shared between two atoms is called a double bond. Six
electrons shared between two atoms is called a triple bond.
|Usually each atom provides one electron, but not necessarily. If both of
the shared electrons come from one atom, it is called a coordinate covalent bond.
|On top of all that, the atoms might share the electrons equally or
unequally. If both atoms have the same attraction for the shared electrons, it is called a
nonpolar covalent bond. If one atom has a stronger attraction for the
shared electrons, it is called a polar covalent bond.
You will see all of these variations as we look at some of the elements and compounds
and networks and molecules that have covalent bonding.
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