The chemistry of carbon-carbon double bonds
Diedrich, John Carl
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Before we can discuss the chemistry of carbon- carbon double bonds, we must be acquainted with what we mean by a double bond. The outer, or valence, shell of electrons surrounding an atomic nucleus is subdivided into areas called orbitals, an orbital being a region in space about the atomic nucleus where the electron has the greatest probability of being found at a given time. A typical valence shell thus consists of one s-orbital, whose graph is spherical, and three p-orbitals, whose graphs possess axial symmetry. Since a chemical bond results from the overlapping of atomic orbitals, a stronger bond than can result from using a given orbital may be obtained by mixing, or hybridizing, the s- and p-orbitals to produce hybrid orbitals which are more locally concentrated and thus can overlap more completely.