Date(s) - 10/04/2013
3:20 pm - 4:20 pm
Title: ‘Does the chemical bond exist?
Speaker: Dr. David Brown, McMaster University
Institute: McMaster University
Location: ABB 102
After the atom, the chemical bond is the most important concept in chemistry, but while quantum mechanics has revealed the structure and properties of the atom in great detail, a century of atomic physics has failed to provide even a definition, let alone a theoretical justification, of the concept of a chemical bond. Working on the assumption that there must be a theoretical basis for a concept that is so remarkably successful, my goal has been to uncover the underlying theory. The reason that no one has hitherto found evidence for the chemical bond is that they have been looking in the wrong place. They have looked at the electron density, where it is impossible to count how many electrons are used to form the bond, and they have used the long-range Coulomb potential which is incompatible with the localized character of the bond. Counting electrons starts with the ionization potential and the bond is found in the localized flux of the electrostatic field. Classical electrostatics theory then leads to a surprisingly simple model of the chemical bond with remarkable predictive power.