In our textbook there are two topics that I can't make connection between:

  1. hybrid orbitals which (as I understand) are used to demonstrate the spacial shape of molecules like CH4 with VSEPR while taking atomic orbitals in account.
  2. molecular orbitals which are an accurate way to look at covalent bounds.

But the problem is: In molecular orbitals we start talking about "s, p, ..." orbitals again and not hybrid orbitals "sp, sp2, sp4, ...".

Why is it like that?

  • $\begingroup$ What context are you talking about? For example, in arenes you talk about unhybridized p orbitals forming pi complexes and sp2 orbitals forming sigma bonds. $\endgroup$ – Niels Kornerup May 12 '16 at 13:34
  • $\begingroup$ Traditionally, hybrid orbital belongs to valence bond theory, which in-general adopts non-orthogonal basis; molecular orbital is another scheme, which adopts orthogonal basis. Sometimes, localized molecular orbital refers to hybridization, e.g. natural hybrid orbital . $\endgroup$ – Rodriguez May 12 '16 at 16:23
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm really suspicious of your statement; what is the ground behind this? I really am not getting that. Just keeping your notions and believes aside for a second, please carefully read ortho's answer:chemistry.stackexchange.com/a/40635/5764 and then decide the fate of your thinking. $\endgroup$ – user5764 May 12 '16 at 17:15

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