Chemistry lecture explores all the ways to "Have a Bond"

The Department of Chemistry presents a special lecture that will be delivered by Cornell University Professor Roald Hoffmann. The lecture, titled "All the Ways to Have a Bond," will take place Thursday, Oct. 15, from 1 to 4 p.m., and will be delivered via the Zoom platform.

Registration for this lecture can be achieved by using the following link: After registration, a Zoom link and passcode will be emailed immediately.

Roald Hoffmann

Roald Hoffmann

Hoffmann is a Nobel Laureate in chemistry (1981) and the Frank H. T. Rhodes
Professor Emeritus at Cornell University. In his lecture, “All the Ways to Have a Bond,” Hoffman will explore how the concept of a chemical bond, which is so essential to chemistry and with its own venerable history, has life, generating controversy and incredible interest. Hoffmann will discuss some of the common experimental criteria for judging the presence and strength of a bond: length, energy, force constants, magnetism, energy splittings and other spectroscopic criteria.

On the theoretical side, he will look at bond orders, population analyses, bond critical points and electron localization functions. He will also provide his personal opinion on the utility of the various measures.

"My advice at the end is likely to be: 'Push the concept to its limits.' Think about any bond in terms of all the various criteria, experimental and theoretical, that we have discussed," says Hoffmann in his lecture abstract. "Accept that (at the limits) a bond will be a bond by some criteria, maybe not others. Instead of wringing your hands about how terrible it is that this concept cannot be unambiguously defined, have fun with the fuzzy richness of the idea. Try to understand what motivates other people to say there is a bond there or isn’t. Always think about what change (chemical perturbation) you can do to probe your ideas."

This engaging lecture is free and open to all who preregister.

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