They are in discrete energy levels, but don't forget that these are further divided into orbitals. Also the more electronegative atom pulls the bonding pair of electrons closer to it, and these electrons are always on the outer shell.
So no it wouldn't change the 'molecular structure', just the probability that an electron can be found closer to the more electronegative atom in a bond.
Electrons should not be considered as being a single particle. When considering bond polarity the electron-cloud model is used. According to quantum mechanics, the energy levels of the electron is the level where the probability of finding the electron is greatest. Electrons however are constantly on the move and forms charge clouds in their orbitals.
(Original post by s.aley)
I know that the more electronegative atom will become slightly negative, but how does that occur?
I was under the impression that electrons only exist in discrete energy levels, if the more electronegative atom 'pulls the electrons closer' then wouldn't that change the discrete energy level the electron is in and hence change the molecular structure?
A more electronegative element can attract this electron so that it spends more time closer to it. Thus the charge cloud gets distorted and looses its symmetry. This causes a partial negative and positive charge to form and hence causes bond polarity.
And of course there is a change in energy level. Think of it this way: When the electron is exited and leaves the atom, it becomes an ion with a positive charge. This causes a change in energy level from outer shell to out of the atom. However, here the electron does not leave the atom, just goes further away from it, and hence there is only a partial charge.
Hope that answers the question
Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
Already a member?
Oops, something wasn't right
please check the following:
Not got an account?
Sign up now
© Copyright The Student Room 2015 all rights reserved
The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.
Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22
Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE