# What is resonance in actuality? (How does electron sharing, bond formation, and overlapping of orbitals take place in resonance hybrids?) [duplicate]

In this post I got an answer to the question "what is resonance".

What I understand overall is that "resonance is not something really happening physically, it is just an idea to make people understand a concept."

But a few doubts remain:

Previously I thought that due to the movements of delocalised electron(s), the pi bond and charge keep shifting rapidly, like various structures physically interchanging into one another very quickly as electrons keep revolving. That's why we use dotted lines to show that bonds can exist in two places at the same time.

But after reading the answer to my previous post I think I was wrong. Then please explain to me what those dotted lines actually mean. Are they a special type of bond or something else?

Does that mean that when we say, for example, that ozone has one double bond and two single bonds, that this is in fact not true!? Because in a hybrid structure we have one bond completely different in both structures, somewhat dotted and straight, with bond length inbetween.

Then, how is an electron shared in the case of a hybrid bond? Normally an octet (generally) is completed by a single bond (2 electron sharing) or a double bond (4 electron sharing). How many electrons are shared in a dotted bond, and how, if at all?

• Have you considered browsing the site and looking for similar questions? Also, please check grammar etc to the extent possible before posting. Sep 8 at 15:11

You (erroneously) believe that resonance structures are in dynamic equilibrium. Your description “the $$\pi$$ bond and charge keep shifting rapidly , like various structures are Physically Interchanging into one another very fastly” is exactly what Dynamic Equilibrium is. For eg. in the equilibrium $$\ce{N_2 +3H_2\rightleftharpoons2NH_3}$$, the nitrogen and hydrogen constantly combine to produce ammonia, while the ammonia also simultaneously decomposes to provide nitrogen and hydrogen gases. The rates of the forward and backward reactions are equal at equilibrium.
Resonance forms are NOT in equilibrium. That is why we use $$\leftrightarrow$$, and not $$\rightleftharpoons$$ to denote resonance forms, to indicate that they are, indeed, equivalent forms of the same molecule.