مرکزی صفحہ Journal of Chemical Education Review of Molecules and the Chemical Bond, Volumes I and II Molecules...
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Book and Media Review pubs.acs.org/jchemeduc Review of Molecules and the Chemical Bond, Volumes I and II Jeﬀrey Kovac* Department of Chemistry, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-1600, United States the placement of helium in the periodic table, something he wrote about in an earlier book.6 There are chapters about other topics in general chemistry, such as stoichiometry, as well as chemical demonstrations. Some of the chapters are introductory; others contain detailed expositions of topics only of interest to specialists. It also contains a lot of what most readers will consider to be extraneous material. At the end of Molecules and the Chemical Bond, Volume I, for example, Bent includes the cover letters that he wrote to recipients of complementary copies of that volume. There is a full page of alternative working titles. It is also repetitive: Volume II covers much of the same ground as Volume I. Henry Bent has been one of most creative, and iconoclastic, ﬁgures in chemical education over the past 60 years. True to form, he has written a pair of volumes that make us think diﬀerently about our notions of chemical bonding. Those who persevere though the rather chaotic organization and oftendense prose in these books will ﬁnd much to ponder. Even readers who end up disagreeing with Bent will have a better understanding of chemistry. Molecules and the Chemical Bond, Volume I, by Henry A. Bent. Traﬀord Publishing: Bloomington, IN, 2011. 354 pp. ISBN: 978-1426962998 (paperback). $21.14. Molecules and the Chemical Bond, Volume II, by Henry A. Bent. Traﬀord Publishing: Bloomington, IN, 2013. 276 pp. ISBN: 9781490713946 (paperback). $18.30. I n high school I was introduced to and captivated by chemistry through the Chemical Bond Approach (CBA), one of the innovative high school science textbooks developed during the 1960s.1 CBA introduced what was called a “charge cloud model” to explain chemical bonding and molecular structure. The charge cloud model was both intuitive and powerful and helpe; d me understand structural chemistry. At about the same time, Henry Bent published a series of articles in this Journal on what he then called the tangent-sphere model, which was essentially what I had learned.2 Eventually, I learned about atomic and molecular orbitals, hybridization, resonance, and VSEPR, the more conventional view of bonding and structure, and have been teaching that theoretical approach to students for 40 years, but the charge cloud model is still part of my chemical intuition. Henry Bent has now produced a two-volume work exploring what he calls “conceptual valence bond theory”, the core of which is an updated and much richer version of what I learned as the charge cloud model, now termed the valence sphere model. Valence bond theory, once largely dismissed, has had a resurgence, in part through the natural bond orbital approach of Weinhold and Landis.3,4 Conceptual valence bond theory has much to recommend it. It is simple, pictorial, and connects directly to Lewis dot structures, which comprise the vocabulary and conceptual tools of working chemists. Bent argues that it is superior in several ways to the hybrid orbital, simple molecular orbital, and VSEPR theories that we teach to undergraduates, and is the way in which many chemists understand bonding and structure. Although conceptual valence bond theory does not provide the quantitative answers that computational quantum chemistry can produce, it is a useful conceptual tool that can provide insight into the structure and reactivity of molecules. Unfortunately, the two volumes of Molecules and the Chemical Bond do not provide a good introduction to conceptual valence bond theory. There is a lot of interesting and valuable information in these books, but I found them quite diﬃcult to read despite my interest in the theory. Like Henry Bent’s earlier books, they lack a narrative thread. Instead, they are more like a scrapbook or personal journal, with short chapters strung together not always in a logical order. Some of the chapters are completely unrelated to conceptual valence bond theory. There are chapters on thermodynamics, one of Bent’s interests and the subject of his innovative 1963 book, The Second Law.5 He also discusses another of his obsessions, © 2014 American Chemical Society and Division of Chemical Education, Inc. ■ ■ AUTHOR INFORMATION Corresponding Author *E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. REFERENCES (1) Chemical Bond Approach Project. Chemical Systems; Webster Division, McGraw-Hill Publishing Company: St. Louis, MO, 1964. (2) Bent, H. A. J. Chem. Educ. 1963, 40, 446−452; 1963, 40, 523− 530; 1965, 42, 302−308; 1965, 42, 348−355; 1967, 44, 512−514; 1968, 45, 768−778. (3) Hoffmann, R.; Shaik, S.; Hiberty, P. C. Acc. Chem. Res. 2003, 36, 750−756. (4) Weinhold, F.; Landis, C. Discovering Chemistry with Natural Bond Orbitals; Wiley: Hoboken, NJ, 2012. (5) Bent, H. A. The Second Law; Oxford University Press, New York, 1965. (6) Bent, H. A. New Ideas in Chemistry from Fresh Energy for the Periodic Table; AuthorHouse: Bloomington, IN, 2006. Published: July 14, 2014 1105 dx.doi.org/10.1021/ed500191b | J. Chem. Educ. 2014, 91, 1105−1105