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Chemistry LibreTexts

Molecular Structures Online Lab 2020

  • Page ID
    210962
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    Learning Objectives

    1. Students will refresh their memory about VSEPR theory, molecular shapes, lewis structures, and bonding.

    2. Students will gain a deeper understanding of orbital overlap theory and hybrid orbitals.

    3. Students will be able to view results from advanced computational chemistry calculations and compare structures.

    4. Students will be able to report on molecular structures and real-world use of molecules.

    5. Students will be able to pose on-topic questions to gain deeper understanding of molecules in the world around us. 

    Review for this Lab

    First: your final exam covers both semesters of General Chemistry.  This is one reason why we have found this lab to be helpful about one month from the final exam. It brings in a lot of first-semester General Chemistry material, and shows you how computational chemistry research allows us to interact with these molecules and their structural properties. 

    Here we have some scaffolded review of some of the topics that are assumed knowledge from first semester. 

    VSEPR Theory

    How well do you remember Molecular Shapes? If the answer is not really at all... then head over to: The_VSEPR_Model (it has some interactive questions at the end to test yourself!)

    If you think you understand it pretty well - check out the Simulation on PhET to play around see if you get it! (Try the "Model" first - then the "Real Molecules")

    Partial Charges and Electronegativity

    Electronegativity is such an important concept in understanding covalent bonding and structures that I'm sure the word sounds really familiar. Do you remember which elements are more electronegative? What does it mean to have a partial charge? 

    If you really want a detailed refresher on electronegativities and bond dipoles, check out: Bond Polarity and Electronegativity. (There are interactive questions at the end, as well!)

    If you feel comfortable with bond polarity, but that whole idea of molecule shapes changing whether a molecule is polar or not, then check out the end of the page linked to under VSEPR theory: The VSEPR Model: Molecular Dipole Moments