Essays on Lewis Structures

Some years after the discovery of electrons, and still some years before the discovery of quantum mechanics, G.N. Lewis at UC Berkeley proposed a theory of the chemical bond. Some of what he said was wrong, but two of his proposals are still recognized (and used) for their penetrating insight: the shared electron pair (covalent) bond, and the valence (Lewis) octet.

These ideas are enshrined in drawings called Lewis structures. These structures can be drawn quickly and serve several important uses, from helping us count electrons, to providing information about electron/bond position, to providing a visual framework for expressing ideas about chemical reactivity.

  1. Lewis' theory of chemical bonding
  2. Drawing Lewis structures by counting electrons
  3. Drawing Lewis structures using bonding patterns