# Can you determine when the orbtials of an atom will hybridize?

We know that when it comes to C its orbitals hybridize (they become sp3 , sp2 or sp) and the energy levels of an hybridized orbital of this kind is lower than that of the p orbital that formed it but higher than the s orbital so for example energetically speaking is more convenient for an atom to have its electrons (even if they are non-bonding and they don't do too much) in an hybridized orbital if possible.And I know that O and N also can hybridize so the energy barrier between their orbitals (the s and the p orbitals) is not that high to be unable to do this so why don't they just hybridize first in O2 or N2 and then form the molecular orbitals like is the case with C-C bonds , why in the case of O-O bonds we have no hybridization? I mean ok I get the perspective of being able to form a double bond but O2 can have a double bond even if it was sp2 hybridized and then all the non-bonding electrons would be in lower energy orbitals (the other sp2).

• Hybridization occurs in our heads, not in atoms. – Ivan Neretin Mar 26 at 22:24
• Ok , but hybridization is a concept based on a theoretical framework , so what I ask is how would this problem/question be solved using this concept. – David Sterlinsky Mar 26 at 22:52

The molecule $$O_2$$ does not have a double bond O=O. It is a biradical which has a single bond O-O, and two independant electrons.