Are molecular orbitals delocalized?

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In contrast to statements in a recent article in this Journal, the bonding electrons in methane can be properly described in terms of localized electrons, and photoelectron spectroscopy does not indicate otherwise. There is no good reason to abandon the description of the chemical bonds of methane in terms of localized bonds formed by covalent linking of hybrid orbitals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)573-574
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 1 2012


  • Covalent bonding
  • First-year undergraduate/general
  • Lewis structures
  • MO theory
  • Misconceptions/discrepant events
  • Physical chemistry
  • Quantum chemistry
  • Upper-division undergraduate
  • VSEPR theory
  • Valence bond theory


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