Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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Unit 5: The Structure of Molecules—Lewis Structures and Molecular Geometries

Section 11: Conclusion

Atoms come together to form compounds in ways that range from ionic solids held together by Coulombic forces to covalently-bound molecules sharing electrons to stabilize each other. With a Lewis structure to keep track of where and how the electrons are shared in a molecule, a chemist can figure out the structure of a molecule in three dimensions, and from there, can determine how molecules will fit together and interact with one another. These interactions take the form of intermolecular forces, which though quite weak, have huge implications for life, from keeping water as a liquid on our planet to holding together the strands of our DNA. In the next unit, we will explore how molecules come together and react with each other to form new molecules.

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