How does chemical bonding look like on the quantum scale per se since the electron is a wave, and a particle?

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    $\begingroup$ It's "per se", and you can't see it. $\endgroup$ Feb 26, 2016 at 0:24
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    $\begingroup$ Electron is neither a wave nor a particle; so you are really mistaking by saying electron is a wave. Wave is probability distribution function which assigns probability to place for finding the electron. $\endgroup$
    – user5764
    Feb 26, 2016 at 3:32
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    $\begingroup$ I believe this question is way to broad. Theoretical and computational chemistry are the two major branches that look into these interactions. Chemical bonding is nothing you can cover in a few words, I am not even sure if it can be understood, I am almost certain there is no way to picture it or make an image that you can see (just as orthocresol already mentioned). $\endgroup$ Feb 26, 2016 at 5:53

1 Answer 1


I believe that generally in chemistry the wave characteristics of the electron are far more prevalent/relevant that the particle characteristics. So it's usually easiest just to think of it as a wave (or I think "region of space" is easier).

A chemical bond looks like the electron wave or area spread out between two or more atoms. This shape of the wave has lower energy than any of the orbitals it could occupy on just one atom. Because it has lower energy, that means it needs energy from somewhere for the electrons & atoms to change back to a different configuration. So unless it gets some more energy it cannot change away from the bonded state. That explains why chemical bonds are stable and hold atoms together.


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