According to the definition of ionic bond:

An ionic bond is a type of chemical bond formed through an electrostatic attraction between two oppositely charged ions.

enter image description here

If we consider the above figure showing formation of ionic bond, due to the transfer of electron from sodium atom to fluorine.It demonstrates clearly, how electrostatic interaction takes place.
In general, electrostatic interaction takes place between two stationary charges.Moreover, electrons would not be static as demonstrated by the above figure.Electrons will be moving at high speed, producing magnetic field around them, due to their motion; and even will also have electric field around them.Thus, we can expect electromagnetic interaction between oppositely charged ions along with electrostatic interaction due to stationary protons.So, does it mean that ionic bond is due to electromagnetic interaction and not just by electrostatic interaction?
[All the statements made are up to my view on the concept.Any correction advisory is welcome]



You are absolutely correct that the electron has an angular momentum, which can be thought of like a magnetic field and which interacts with magnetic fields. In "light" elements, however, the magnetic interaction is almost completely negligible.

The Hyperphysics page on the Zeeman Effect shows that in a hydrogen atom, a magnetic field of one tesla (which is fairly strong) splits energy levels by $5.78 \times 10^{-5} eV$, or roughly one-millionth of the ionization energy of a hydrogen atom.

From just having done calcuations on the anomalous Zeeman effect for homework (you can use the formula in the link I provided and check it yourself), I can tell you that in a potassium atom, the energy levels of a p-electron split by 0.006 Hartree/Tesla, or 1/10,000 of the ionization energy of a hydrogen atom.

In other words, while there is a magnetic field (or what can be treated as one) generated by electron motion, it's fairly safe to ignore it in lighter elements.

As far as heavy elements go...well, you undergo what's called j-j coupling, caused by the fact that the electrons are going so fast that their motion becomes relativistic. To describe that motion requires the Dirac equation, which I have not studied in any level of detail. Instinct says that there are other considerations which are much more significant than magnetic interactions, but I have no proof whatsoever to back it up.

  • $\begingroup$ @chipbuster.Did you mean that ionic interaction is due to electromagnetic interaction, and not just due to electrostatic interaction? $\endgroup$ – Immortal Player Nov 3 '13 at 8:54
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, I'm a little tired right now. What I meant to say is that while there is technically magnetic interaction going on, the bulk of the lattice energy comes from electrostatic interactions. EDIT: This is definitely not an expert opinion. I have not studied the physics of lattice bonding in detail. $\endgroup$ – chipbuster Nov 3 '13 at 8:55

First to the magnetic properties - if you would be happy with Schroedinger equation and paired electrons, which is perfectly appropriate for the example show, then just forget about magnetism at all, it is negligible. All the information needed is in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_molecular_Hamiltonian, which is valid for all bonding situations.


Yes, in fact electrostatic attraction is an electromagnetic interaction. So there is no need for thinking about different approach. If you mean only magnetic interaction, so you are searching for the relation with magnetism, I have some doubts about the possibility that they are related.

  • $\begingroup$ @G M.Up to my knowledge electrostatic interaction is not the same as electromagnetic interaction.Electrostatic interaction deals with charges at rest, which have electric field around them with no magnetic field.Magnetic field will be produced around the charge, only when it starts to move.So, while considering electromagnetic interaction, we will be dealing with electric and magnetic field, whereas in case of electrostatic interaction, we will be dealing only with electric field. $\endgroup$ – Immortal Player Nov 1 '13 at 12:01
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    $\begingroup$ @CURIE is not the same because is one of them."Four fundamental interactions are conventionally recognized: gravitational, electromagnetic, strong nuclear, and weak nuclear." Electrostatic is inside electromagnetic. $\endgroup$ – G M Nov 1 '13 at 14:13
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    $\begingroup$ @G M.According to the definition of the electrostatics, "Electrostatics is a branch of physics that deals with the phenomena and properties of stationary or slow-moving electric charges with no acceleration." this definition has been extracted from the wiki encyclopedia-[electrostatics] In case of the electrons, they are not slow-moving charges, they nearly move with the speed of light. So, we can't say that electrostatic force comes under electromagnetic force, under this considered situation of electron revolving with high speed. $\endgroup$ – Immortal Player Nov 3 '13 at 6:58
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    $\begingroup$ @CURIE "Four fundamental interactions are conventionally recognized: gravitational, electromagnetic, strong nuclear, and weak nuclear." Where do you put electrostatic? $\endgroup$ – G M Nov 3 '13 at 16:19

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