Heisenberg's chemical legacy: resonance and the chemical bond [Book Review]

Foundations of Chemistry 13 (1):39-49 (2011)
Heisenberg’s explanation of how two coupled oscillators exchange energy represented a dramatic success for his new matrix mechanics. As matrix mechanics transmuted into wave mechanics, resulting in what Heisenberg himself described as …an extraordinary broadening and enrichment of the formalism of the quantum theory , the term resonance also experienced a corresponding evolution. Heitler and London’s seminal application of wave mechanics to explain the quantum origins of the covalent bond, combined with Pauling’s characterization of the effect, introduced resonance into the chemical lexicon. As the Valence Bond approach gave way to a soon-to-be dominant Molecular Orbital method, our understanding of the term resonance, as it might apply to our understanding the chemical bond, has also changed
Keywords Resonance  Chemical bond  Valence bond  Molecular orbital  Quantum chemistry
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DOI 10.1007/s10698-011-9104-2
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