Living with the Chemical Bonds

In this vast and immense world we live in, there are tools that help us improve the way we think and act. These tools could be our everyday necessities like our pencils, erasers, books, papers etc. It could also be the ones that we take into our bodies like table (mixed in our foods) and water. Yet, we contemplate on its existence. How were these objects made? Or more particularly, what is their composition that bonds them together?

From all these complex objects and tools, we know that they are formed from a basic structure. This structure or “center core of all objects” is called atoms. Atoms tend to combine with other atoms to form molecules. In order for this to happen, there must be some kind of “interatomic” glue that can hold the atoms together as one molecule. That “interatomic” glue is called chemical bonds.

Chemical bonds are what hold atoms together. In chemical bonds, atoms tend to share, attract, or lose electrons. At the same time, the chemical bonds arrange the building blocks of atoms together. Chemical bonds are what hold compounds together. The physical and chemical properties of these compounds would depend on the nature of the bonds created. There are 3 kinds of chemical bonds: metallic, ionic, and covalent bonds.

Metallic bond is where two metals are bonded together to create a metallic compound. To describe a metallic bond, the nuclei of both metals are embedded in a sea of electrons, which then are attracted by the protons of both metals. Because of this, the metallic compound holds together the metals tightly; the metallic compound would also have positive ions. Most of these compounds have the same physical properties like malleability and ductility; this is also the reason why most metals are located near each other in the periodic table. Metallic compounds are good conductors of heat and electricity. It also tends to have very high boiling and melting points.

Another chemical bond is the ionic bond. It is the chemical bond that involves transfer of electrons between the atoms of a metal and a nonmetal. Ionic bonds have a bond ratio of 1:1. A ionic bond is formed due to the formation of cations and anions that attract one another. Ionic bonds tend to have powerful electrostatic force to create the compound. Take for example sodium chloride (NaCl). The metal element in this compound would be sodium (Na), while the nonmetal would be chlorine (Cl). To create sodium chloride will require electricity. Using the electrical energy, the chlorine atom will lose one electron that will be transferred to the sodium atom, making the sodium gain one electron. Through this process, both elements become ions; the sodium ions will then be surrounded by 6 chlorine ions.

The last chemical bond is the covalent bond. This is a bond between two nonmetal elements. Compounds of this type of bond involves the sharing of electrons between atoms. In the chemical bond, the outer valence electrons overlap and are shared between the 2 atoms. Covalent bonds have a 1:2 ratio. The number of valence electrons shows how many more can be accommodated. The vast majority of covalent bonds result in 8 valence electrons, aka the OCTET rule. There are also two kinds of covalent bonds: the polar and the non-polar covalent bonds. The polar bonds have equal sharing of electrons, while non-polar bonds have unequal sharing of electrons. One property of compounds of covalent bond is that the forces that hold molecules together in the crystals are weak. Because of this, it makes dislodging them from the crystal structure easy, meaning they are fragile and have low melting/boiling points.

The study of these chemical bonds expanded the variety of living in this world. Chemistry has done a great job discovering the compositions of the different tools we use. We too are created from different physical and chemical bonds. As unique and sublime creatures and creations, we continue to expound and discover the surroundings that make up this world. In this massive world, there may be other ways of bonding that we have not discovered. As time continues to fly, we learn new things and, maybe, stumble on realizations that may change the world and views of chemistry.

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