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How atoms bond - George Zaidan and Charles Morton

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Atoms can (and do) bond constantly; it's how they form molecules. Sometimes, in an atomic tug-of-war, one atom pulls electrons from another, forming an ionic bond. Atoms can also play nicely and share electrons in a covalent bond. From simple oxygen to complex human chromosome 13, George Zaidan and Charles Morton break down the humble chemical bond.

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Just how small are atoms? And what's inside them? The answers turn out to be astounding, even for those who think they know. This fast-paced animation uses spectacular metaphors (imagine a blueberry the size of a football stadium!) to give a visceral sense of the building blocks that make our world.
Ever wonder how we know what the structure of an atom looks like? This text provides a historical perspective of how the internal structure of the atom was discovered.
Here are some good, detailed resources on atomic structure:
http://www.chemguide.co.uk/atoms/bondingmenu.html
http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/chemistry/5-111-principles-of-chemical-science-fall-2008/video-lectures/lecture-10/
http://webs.morningside.edu/slaven/Physics/atom/atom7.html
Here's George and Charles's other lesson about atoms.
Here are more TED Talks about chemistry.
When molecules collide, chemical reactions can occur -- causing major structural changes akin to getting a new arm on your face! George Zaidan and Charles Morton playfully imagine chemical systems as busy city streets, and the colliding molecules within them as your average, limb-swapping joes.
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In other words, supposing that two atoms approach each other, they can either share their outermost electrons, or one atom can transfer one (or more) electrons to the other. What do you think determines which of these two possibilities is more likely? You can frame your answer in terms of a tug-of-war.
10/15/2013 • 
 18 Responses
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