Questions tagged [theoretical-chemistry]

For questions seeking answers deduced from or composed of theories regarding the chemical substances and about models and methods of theoretical chemistry.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
35
votes
2answers
18k views

How can the dipole moment of carbon monoxide be rationalised by molecular orbital theory?

Despite the fact that oxygen is much more electronegative than carbon, the bond in $\ce{CO}$ presents a weak dipole moment. This observation can easily be explained using the concept of "dative bond", ...
212
votes
3answers
29k views

Why is gold golden?

Bulk gold has a very characteristic warm yellow shine to it, whereas almost all other metals have a grey or silvery color. Where does this come from? I have heard that this property arises from ...
33
votes
2answers
3k views

Hypervalency and the octet rule

I realize that the octet rule is more a suggestion than a rule, and that it applies mainly to non-transition metal compounds. Still, compounds that don't have an octet, like $\ce{BH3}$, tend to ...
73
votes
4answers
33k views

Bonding in diatomic C2, a carbon-carbon quadruple bond?

Carbon is well known to form single, double, and triple $\ce{C-C}$ bonds in compounds. There is a recent report (2012) that carbon forms a quadruple bond in diatomic carbon, $\ce{C2}$. The excerpt ...
14
votes
1answer
4k views

Utility of Bent's Rule - What can Bent's rule explain that other qualitative considerations cannot?

Does Bent's rule have any utility? I got a vehement earful for "NO." Points raised by my professor: Coulombic considerations can be used to rationalize bond angles, strengths, and lengths without ...
32
votes
1answer
3k views

What would follow in the series sigma, pi and delta bonds?

I realise, that this question is a stretch, but I was wondering, how would a bonding orbital be called if it was formed from two $f_{x(x^2−3y^2)}$ or $f_{y(3x^2−y^2)}$ orbitals. Have there been any ...
106
votes
1answer
4k views

Is there a general consensus on the causes of the alpha-effect?

There have been various explanations posited for the α-effect. The α-effect refers to a phenomenon wherein nucleophiles with lone pairs on atoms adjacent (i.e., in the α- position) to the atom bearing ...
22
votes
2answers
6k views

PBP vs TBP geometry?

Why are the axial bond lengths greater than those of the equatorial bonds in a trigonal bi-pyramid (TBP) geometry molecule; but the opposite is true for pentagonal bi-pyramid (PBP) geometry molecules? ...
28
votes
2answers
2k views

Ripping apart plastic: is this a chemical or physical change?

I was holding a piece of plastic earlier, and I ripped it in half. This caused me to start to think about what was happening at the atomic level. If the plastic is being ripped, clearly bonds are ...
26
votes
1answer
20k views

What is the pKa of the hydronium, or oxonium, ion (H3O+)?

Although the wikipedia page on Hydronium indicates a $\mathrm{p}K_\text{a}$ of −1.74, I noticed in the discussion of this page that the subject seems debated (cf. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:...
8
votes
2answers
11k views

Hybridization in PH3

Does $\ce{PH3}$ exhibit $\ce{sp^3}$ hybridization? Arguments against hybridization: $\ce{PH3}$ is less basic than $\ce{NH3}$. This jibes with the supposition that $\ce{PH3}$ keeps its lone pair in ...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

What is charge shift bonding?

Can someone explain to me charge shift bonding? I recognize that it is proposed as another domain of bonding - one different from ionic and covalent bonding. I am also told that $\ce{C-F}$ exhibits ...
13
votes
2answers
5k views

Dihedral angle of gaseous and crystalline HOOH

Why does hydrogen peroxide exhibit a dihedral angle of $111.5^\circ$ in the gaseous state? And a dihedral angle of $90.2^\circ$ in the crystalline phase? I know that in general, there is likely to be ...
33
votes
3answers
20k views

What is actually the difference between valence bond theory and molecular orbital theory?

Recently I have read about both of the concepts in my book (Physical Chemistry by Atkins, Paula). It was literally a reading; though I could understand the language and superposition of orbitals, ...
24
votes
2answers
3k views

How to find the second order perturbation to wave function?

Today, I'm looking for how to find the 2nd perturbation to the base in Rayleigh Schrödinger Perturbation Theory (RSPT). SETUP Starting from the 2nd order perturbation in Dirac's notation: \begin{...
13
votes
2answers
13k views

Why is CO practically nonpolar?

This question was in my book. According to me CO should be polar as it should have a dipole moment. But I found that the $\sigma$-electron drift from C to O is almost nullified by the $\pi$-electron ...
9
votes
1answer
6k views

Energetic Placement of Atomic Orbitals in the HCl Molecular Orbital Diagram

How are the 3p orbitals of chlorine lower in energy than the 1s orbital of hydrogen?
10
votes
2answers
5k views

Rate Constant Units and Eyring Equation

Rearranging the Eyring equation leads to the following: $$\Delta^\ddagger S^\circ = R \ln{\frac{k \times h}{{k_\text{B}}{T}}}+\frac{\Delta^\ddagger H^\circ}{T}$$ where $k$ is the rate constant, $h$ ...
32
votes
1answer
7k views

When is it true that more nodes equals higher energy?

Consider all the MOs of some isolated molecule. (It could be a single atom too; I'll use MO to refer to AOs as well.) Number them in increasing order of the number of nodes (node = surface where the ...
14
votes
2answers
591 views

After a unitary transformation, is Koopmans' theorem still valid?

Koopmans' theorem says that the energy of the HOMO of the Hartree-Fock orbitals is equal to the first ionization energy of whatever system is being studied. This is only approximate because it assumes ...
20
votes
1answer
449 views

Can a multi-species system oscillate around equilibrium?

In reading about chemical oscillations such as those that occur in the Belousov–Zhabotinsky reaction (BZ), it's often reported that these reactions were initially not taken seriously, because of a ...
26
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the justification for Hückel's rule?

I know that experimentally, the rule has been verified but I am having trouble understanding why it works. I see no reason why equivalent cyclic structures can undergo resonance and be just as stable. ...
20
votes
2answers
3k views

Cyclobutadiene - Jahn–Teller effect or not?

In transition metal chemistry the Jahn–Teller effect arises when the configuration of the metal ion and d orbital splitting set up a doubly degenerate state, which is less stable than a state without ...
18
votes
1answer
599 views

Analytical solution of the Schrödinger Equation for AB^+ systems

According to Wikipedia, there are not many problems for which the Schrödinger equation can be solved analytically. [1] The $\ce{H2+}$ ion is probably the most complex molecule that can be treated this ...
24
votes
1answer
7k views

What is the difference between dynamic and static electronic correlation

I am confused. In the static correlation, we use combination of Slater determinants to account for electronic correlation (known as CI or configuration interaction) and the wave function is ...
22
votes
2answers
10k views

Is Hydrogen Bonding a Type of Dipole Dipole Interaction?

I understand that dipole dipole forces is due to the attraction of the different partials charges of atoms in different molecules due to their different electro-negativities. For hydrogen bonding, ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Are there any full worked examples of DFT calculations?

I just started learning DFT and now I am totally confused. Assuming I want to use B3LYP: \begin{align} v_s\left(\textbf{r}\right) &= v_\text{ext}\left(\textbf{r}\right) + \int d^3r\frac{n\left( \...
7
votes
1answer
10k views

Software for predicting chemical reactions

I wondered if it was possible to predict the product(s) of a reaction (or even the equilibrium) based on the reactants and the temperature/pressure. I found an answer to a similar question here: ...
20
votes
2answers
5k views

For a given element do heavier isotopes form stronger bonds than lighter isotopes?

I know that $\ce{C-D}$ and $\ce{C-T}$ bonds are stronger than $\ce{C-H}$ bonds, but is this generally true for isotopes of all elements? (By isotopes I mean stable ones with large half lives.)
9
votes
1answer
470 views

How to obtain product ratio from energy differences via Boltzmann statistics

I am currently calculating some reactions and I would like to express the ratio of the products in per cents. I am using the Boltzmann statistic in the following way: The probability $p_j$ of a ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is the resonance concept not required in molecular orbital theory?

In valence bond theory, resonance plays a pivoting role; why isn't such concept needed in MO theory? Why is it told that "MO theory provides a global, delocalized perspective on chemical bonding"? (...
3
votes
4answers
5k views

What are similarities and differences among shells, orbitals, subshells, and energy levels?

I think I know what these terms mean: each row on the periodic table has a new shell of electrons, a subshell is e.g. 1s, 2s, 2p, 3s, 3p, etc., and energy levels are the same as shells, whilst ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Why is N₂ stable but HCN and C₂H₂ unstable?

Compounds with triple bonds generally seem to be unstable. $\ce{HCN}$ and $\ce{C2H2}$ are high-energy, relatively short-lived molecules that will readily polymerise or react with other organic ...
-1
votes
1answer
4k views

Do electrons in an atom revolve around the the nucleus clockwise or counterclockwise? [closed]

Do electrons in an atom revolve around the the nucleus clockwise or counterclockwise? Is there any rule to determine?
10
votes
2answers
26k views

What is the hybridization of the nitrogen in the azide ion?

In the azide ion, there is a symmetrical arrangement of three nitrogen atoms. If I've been told to figure out the hybridization of each nitrogen atom, what's the best way to go about doing this? My ...
5
votes
2answers
525 views

Is the 5d orbital involved in triiodide ion?

Is the $5\mathrm{d}$ orbital involved in the triiodide ion, $\ce{I3-}$? There are $5$ electron pairs around the central iodine. (Almost) all of the hypervalent compounds involve the most ...
5
votes
2answers
235 views

How to obtain the Raman spectrum along every coordinate of a scan in Gaussian?

I am doing a scan calculation using Gaussian09 and adding the Freq=Raman keyword to my input file. My objective is to obtain the ...
21
votes
1answer
29k views

What's the difference between PBE and B3LYP methods?

I can't find an answer to that question. I was told that in B3LYP, more variables implemented in the method are empirical, but I can't find anywhere if it's true, and I'm sure it's not the only ...
18
votes
1answer
2k views

What exactly is meant by 'multi-configurational' and 'multireference'?

Some topics here have touched on this before (see 1, 2, 3), but I haven't found a clear definition yet. I would like to know what exact property of the wave function these terms refer to. It would ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Born–Oppenheimer adiabaticity

The Born–Oppenheimer aproximation is said to be adiabatic. What does "adiabatic" mean? What would be a non-adiabatic approximation to the Schrödinger equation?
29
votes
4answers
2k views

How many molecules does it take to have a phase?

A single molecule can't be solid, liquid or gas. It's just a molecule. A mole of something can be any of the three. So, how many molecules does it take for phases to be meaningful? I realize that ...
3
votes
1answer
7k views

How can I predict what dissolves what?

Regarding solvents, the only thing I remember from school is my teacher saying: "The same dissolves the same." regarding the polar/non-polar solvents. From this I understand that water is polar ...
31
votes
2answers
9k views

Is density functional theory an ab initio method?

The following comment by Wildcat made me think about whether density functional theory (DFT) can be considered an ab initio method. @Martin-マーチン, this is sort of nitpicking, but DFT (where the last ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

How to choose proper active space in method such as CASPT2 and CASSCF?

I am confused about other research paper which use CASPT2 method. I am not clear about how to choose active space. What can I refer to? (tutorial reviews, papers, or any other things)
19
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it correct to talk about an empty orbital?

Professor A. J. Kirby mentions: The properties of an orbital are those of an electron contained in it. It is normal practice, illogical though it may sound, to talk of 'vacant orbitals'.The ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

What are typical runtimes for CASSCF calculations?

I'm doing single point energy calculations of FeS using ORCA. I originally used DFT with a variety of functionals, and these calculations all took less than a minute. Now I'm attempting to run CASSCF ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

How to identify hydrogen bonds and other non-covalent interactions from structure considerations?

Chemistry is governed by a wide range of interactions, from ionic and covalent bonding, or other types of strong interactions, towards weaker types of bonding, attraction, or repulsion, that typically ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

LCAO (Linear Combination of Atomic Orbitals) and Phases

So when combining atomic orbitals to form molecular orbitals, you can either add the wave functions or subtract them. But at the same time, orbitals can exist in opposite phases (say one lobe of the p ...
13
votes
4answers
981 views

Is coupled cluster variational for two electrons?

I know that coupled cluster (CC) is not variational for the general case. However, if we only have two electrons with one nucleus, CCSD should be exact for this system like full configuration ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Is the transformation of pi bonds to sigma bonds always energetically favorable?

Is the move from pi bonds to sigma bonds always favorable? My professor claims so, except in the case of conjugated pi bonds. I can see how pi bonds going to sigma bonds might be favorable; I know ...