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This Flash interactive tutorial explores covalent bonding, a type of chemical bond that involves sharing of electrons. Learners investigate the attractive and repulsive forces that act on atomic particles and how the sharing of electrons can keep atoms together. See how two hydrogen atoms interact with each other to create a covalent bond. Learn about patterns in the periodic table and how electrostatic potential energy determines the bond length.

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Electricity & Magnetism
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© 2008 ChemThink
chemical bond animation, covalent, covalent bonding animation, electron sharing, electrostatic attraction, valence bond theory
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created August 16, 2011 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
August 13, 2016 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
December 30, 2009

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

4. The Physical Setting

4D. The Structure of Matter
  • 6-8: 4D/M1a. All matter is made up of atoms, which are far too small to see directly through a microscope.
  • 6-8: 4D/M6a. There are groups of elements that have similar properties, including highly reactive metals, less-reactive metals, highly reactive nonmetals (such as chlorine, fluorine, and oxygen), and some almost completely nonreactive gases (such as helium and neon).
  • 6-8: 4D/M11. Substances react chemically in characteristic ways with other substances to form new substances with different characteristic properties.
  • 9-12: 4D/H2. The number of protons in the nucleus determines what an atom's electron configuration can be and so defines the element. An atom's electron configuration, particularly the outermost electrons, determines how the atom can interact with other atoms. Atoms form bonds to other atoms by transferring or sharing electrons.
4G. Forces of Nature
  • 9-12: 4G/H2a. Electric forces acting within and between atoms are vastly stronger than the gravitational forces acting between the atoms. At larger scales, gravitational forces accumulate to produce a large and noticeable effect, whereas electric forces tend to cancel each other out.
  • 9-12: 4G/H3. Most materials have equal numbers of protons and electrons and are therefore electrically neutral. In most cases, a material acquires a negative charge by gaining electrons and acquires a positive charge by losing electrons. Even a tiny imbalance in the number of protons and electrons in an object can produce noticeable electric forces on other objects.

11. Common Themes

11B. Models
  • 6-8: 11B/M1. Models are often used to think about processes that happen too slowly, too quickly, or on too small a scale to observe directly. They are also used for processes that are too vast, too complex, or too dangerous to study.
11D. Scale
  • 6-8: 11D/M3. Natural phenomena often involve sizes, durations, and speeds that are extremely small or extremely large. These phenomena may be difficult to appreciate because they involve magnitudes far outside human experience.

This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.

Topic: Particles and Interactions and the Standard Model
Unit Title: Molecular Structures and Bonding

How do attractive and repulsive forces act on atomic particles and influence the sharing of electrons? This interactive Flash tutorial helps students visualize what is happening in the covalent bonding process. They will view two hydrogen atoms interact to create a covalent bond, learn about patterns in the periodic table, and explore how electrostatic potential energy affects bonding.

Link to Unit:
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Record Link
AIP Format
(WGBH Educational Foundation, Boston, 2008), WWW Document, (http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/lsps07.sci.phys.matter.covalentbond/covalent-bonding/).
PBS Learning Media: Covalent Bonding, (WGBH Educational Foundation, Boston, 2008), <http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/lsps07.sci.phys.matter.covalentbond/covalent-bonding/>.
APA Format
PBS Learning Media: Covalent Bonding. (2009, December 30). Retrieved June 23, 2017, from WGBH Educational Foundation: http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/lsps07.sci.phys.matter.covalentbond/covalent-bonding/
Chicago Format
ChemThink. PBS Learning Media: Covalent Bonding. Boston: WGBH Educational Foundation, December 30, 2009. http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/lsps07.sci.phys.matter.covalentbond/covalent-bonding/ (accessed 23 June 2017).
MLA Format
PBS Learning Media: Covalent Bonding. Boston: WGBH Educational Foundation, 2008. 30 Dec. 2009. ChemThink. 23 June 2017 <http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/lsps07.sci.phys.matter.covalentbond/covalent-bonding/>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {PBS Learning Media: Covalent Bonding}, Publisher = {WGBH Educational Foundation}, Volume = {2017}, Number = {23 June 2017}, Month = {December 30, 2009}, Year = {2008} }
Refer Export Format

%T PBS Learning Media: Covalent Bonding
%D December 30, 2009
%I WGBH Educational Foundation
%C Boston
%U http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/lsps07.sci.phys.matter.covalentbond/covalent-bonding/
%O application/flash

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%D December 30, 2009
%T PBS Learning Media: Covalent Bonding
%I WGBH Educational Foundation
%V 2017
%N 23 June 2017
%8 December 30, 2009
%9 application/flash
%U http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/lsps07.sci.phys.matter.covalentbond/covalent-bonding/

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Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Style.org: Electronic References.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

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