It’s all electric

Do you realize that chemical bonds, whether intra-molecular and inter-molecular, are electrical in nature?

For example, the ionic bonds that hold a sodium chloride crystal together are basically the electrical forces of attraction between the Na+ ions and Cl ions.

The hydrogen bonds that keep the H2O molecules in a drop of water from flying apart are basically the electrical force of attraction between the partially positively charged hydrogen atom of one H2O molecule with the partially negatively charged oxygen atom of another H2O molecule.

On the other hand, when atoms or molecules come too close together, electrical repulsion will set in. This could be due to the mutual repulsion between the electron clouds, or in more extreme situations the mutual repulsion between the nuclei.

The so called “contact force” between touching surfaces, is also electrical in nature. The electrical repulsion between (the electron clouds of) the atoms of your butt and the chair you’re sitting on is the reason you are not falling through the chair. Technically, your butt is hovering above the chair (by a separation of the scale of 10-10 m).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s