Molecules with very weak bonds: The edge of covalency

Philosophy of Science 75 (5):947-957 (2008)
Because most chemical reactions, by definition, cannot avoid breaking of bonds, weakly bonded species exist fleetingly in almost every chemical change. Historically, chemical quantum mechanics was aimed at explaining the nature of strong bonds. The theory involved a number of approximations to the full solution of the Schrödinger equation. The study of non‐Kekulé molecules provides an opportunity to test whether modern quantum chemical computations are competent to deal with the nature of molecules with very weak bonds. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Chemistry, Yale University, New Haven, CT: 06520‐8107; e‐mail:
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