What Does "hybridization" Mean in Chemistry?


Quick Answer

Hybridization in chemistry refers to the combination of two atoms to form a new atomic using orbitals. The new orbital has the same total electron capacity as the two orbitals combined to form it. The new hybrid orbital has average properties of the two original orbitals.

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Hybridization is the amalgamation of other parts to form something new. The resultant hybrid product has characteristics of the two combined items. Hybridization of atomic orbitals explains the changes that happen between atomic orbitals in an uncombined atom and the orbitals used by the same atoms during the process of bonding. An example of a sp3 hybridized bond is the CH4 molecule, whereby a carbon atom mixes its "s" and "3p" electrons with four hydrogen atoms in a hybridized bond.

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