The Chemical Bond
The States of Matter
|When you view a chemical change, always take a moment to see the change in the light of electrostatic force. The electrostatic force is the central force in chemistry. Always take a moment to conceptualize the internal energy associated with chemical change as the work of electric forces during re-arrangement of electric charges, electrons and protons, in the processes of disaggregration from reagents and reaggregation as products.|
Atoms are held together by the electrostatic force between the nucleus and electrons.
Two atoms in a covalent bond are held together by the electrostatic force between the nuclei of the atoms and the shared electrons in the inter nuclear space.
Molecules attract one another by the electrostatic force between induced dipoles (Van der Waals attraction), permanent dipoles (dipole-dipole attraction), or hydrogen bonding (where the positive end of the dipole is a hydrogen atom).
Intermolecular forces, ionic bonds, and metallic bonding all involve electrostatic force, so it is electrostatic force that holds together the particles of a substance in condensed phase of matter (solid or liquid).
In a liquid solution, it is electrostatic forces holding together the solvent and solute. In biochemistry, the structure of a large macromolecule such as a protein, is determined by a complex interplay of electrostatic forces between the functional groups of the molecule, within the molecule itself, with associated molecules, and with the aqueous solvent. When you learn the fundamentals of electrostatics in physics, you are preparing yourself to understand chemistry.