When a chemical bond forms, the bonding electrons enter a molecular orbital within the internuclear space pulling the bonded atoms together. This represents an electrostatic potential energy decrease. When there is an electronegativity difference between two atoms, the more electronegative atom pulls the electron or electrons the other atom has brought to the new bond inward towards its more powerful nucleus. This drawing in of negative charge by the more electronegative atom increases the magnitude of internal energy decrease above and beyond what is normally seen. This extra energy makes polar bonds stronger. As a general rule, they release more energy when they form. This phenomenon is the basis of oxidation-reduction. Oxidation-reduction is simply an accounting system to keep track of the extra energy released when a very electronegative element (high reduction potential) gains electron control (is reduced). Oxidation-reduction tells the story in terms of a simple narrative of electron control.
As a framework which lends a great deal of coherence to biochemistry, oxidation-reduction is one of the most important topics in physical science for future doctors. The central narrative of bioenergetics, for example, is the transduction of redox potential into phosphoryl transfer potential.
Redox and Electrochemitry Practice
Conceptual Vocabulary Self-Test
Basic Terms Crossword Puzzle
Basic Puzzle Solution
Conceptual Vocabulary for Oxidation-Reduction