Bonding, Structure, and Resonance – Partial Charges Give Clues About Electron Flow

Students who are new to organic chemistry frequently overlook the hidden layer of information that lies beneath chemical structures.

I'm referring to split charges.

The electronegativity of each atom determines how "greedy" it is for electrons, so even though each of these bonds appears to be covalent, many bonds that appear "neutral" are actually polarised.

Why is this crucial? Because the primary driving force behind so many chemical reactions is the attraction between opposite charges. You can see how these "hidden" partial charges give us crucial information about how these reactions work.

The arrows depicting the movement of a pair of electrons are to organic chemistry what the study of money is to economics—it's all about understanding their flow.

Notice how the arrows never point in the opposite direction, always flowing from negative to positive.

Because of this, mastering electronegativity trends is essential to succeeding in organic chemistry.

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