The concept of quantum mechanical resonance and the theorem that in quantum mechanics the actual structure of a system has a lower energy than any other structure have turned out to be especially important in chemistry. The energy could be calculated for an assumed wave function for a molecule. Any change that lowered the energy indicated some addition to the picture of the chemical bond. The polarization of bond orbitals and the partial ionic character of bonds were discovered in this way. The minimum-energy theorem led to the formulation of the electronegativity scale. Modern chemistry and molecular biology are the products of quantum mechanics. Chemistry has been changed by quantum mechanics even more than physics.In 1936 in the Preface to The Nature of the Chemical Bond he also emphasized how quantum physics led to new chemical concepts.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Pauling on the role of quantum theory in chemistry
In an article The Nature of the Chemical Bond - 1992, Linus Pauling makes the following fascinating statement: