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ERIC Number: EJ927022
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 2
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 7
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Shake for Sigma, Pray for Pi: Classroom Orbital Overlap Analogies
Dicks, Andrew P.
Journal of Chemical Education, v88 n4 p426-427 Apr 2011
An introductory organic classroom demonstration is discussed where analogies are made between common societal hand contact and covalent bond formation. A handshake signifies creation of a [sigma] bond ("head-on" orbital overlap), whereas the action of praying illustrates "sideways" overlap and generation of a [pi] bond. The nature of orbital and hand overlap is correlated with relative bond strengths. Suggestions are made to make these analogies interactive between the instructor and students and among students themselves as an opening lecture icebreaker. (Contains 1 figure and 1 note.)
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A