Worked example: Interpreting potential energy curves of diatomic molecules | Khan Academy | Summary and Q&A

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December 2, 2019
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Worked example: Interpreting potential energy curves of diatomic molecules | Khan Academy

TL;DR

This video explains how to determine the potential energy as a function of internuclear distance for different diatomic molecules based on their bond order and atomic radii.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How does bond order affect the potential energy of diatomic molecules?

Bond order, such as a single, double, or triple bond, affects the potential energy by influencing the internuclear distance and bond energy. Higher bond order leads to shorter internuclear distance and higher bond energy.

Q: How do atomic radii contribute to the potential energy of diatomic molecules?

Atomic radii play a role in determining the internuclear distance with the lowest potential energy. Smaller atoms have shorter stable internuclear distances, resulting in lower potential energy.

Q: How can we determine the diatomic molecule based on potential energy graphs?

By analyzing the bond energy and considering the bond order, we can identify diatomic molecules. The graph with the highest bond energy corresponds to the diatomic molecule with the highest bond order.

Q: What factors should be considered when determining the diatomic molecule based on potential energy?

Bond order and atomic radii are crucial factors. Bond order determines the bond energy and internuclear distance, while atomic radii affect the stability and shortest distance between the nuclei.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The video explores the potential energy as a function of internuclear distance for diatomic molecules such as hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen.

  • The distance between diatomic molecules' nuclei with the lowest potential energy is determined by their atomic radii and bond order.

  • Bond order, determined by the number of covalent bonds between atoms, influences the internuclear distance and bond energy.

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