# Bonding and Antibonding Molecular Orbitals

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The lowest-energy bonding and antibonding molecular orbitals (MO) for a homonuclear diatomic molecule are shown, as the internuclear distance is varied. These MOs are designated 1 (or 1s) and 1 (or 1s), respectively. The red contours designate negative values of the wavefunction. In the separated atom limit (large ), the MOs approach a pair of noninteracting 1*s* atomic orbitals. In the united atom limit (), the 1 and 1 collapse to 1*s* and 2atomic orbitals, respectively. At the equilibrium internuclear distance, when the red dot is at the minimum of the energy curve, the bonding orbital is optimally effective.

Contributed by: S. M. Blinder (October 2007)

Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

## Snapshots

## Details

The contour curves take a few seconds to smooth out as you change . Only qualitatively representative results are intended.

Snapshot 1: equilibrium internuclear distance

Snapshot 2: separated atoms

Snapshot 3: united atoms

## Permanent Citation

"Bonding and Antibonding Molecular Orbitals"

http://demonstrations.wolfram.com/BondingAndAntibondingMolecularOrbitals/

Wolfram Demonstrations Project

Published: October 2 2007