Posts Tagged ‘π-electron resonance energy’

Longer is stronger.

Saturday, June 6th, 2009
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The iconic diagram below represents a cornerstone of organic chemistry. Generations of chemists have learnt early on in their studies of the subject that these two representations of where the electron pairs in benzene might be located (formally called electronic resonance or valence bond forms) each contribute ~50% to the overall wavefunction, and that the real electronic description is in effect an average of these two (that is the implied meaning of the double headed arrow). This means that the six C-C bonds in benzene must all be of equal length. The diagrams, everyone knows, do not mean that benzene has three short and three long C-C bonds.