Examples for

Orbital Hybridization

When atoms form molecules, their atomic orbitals rearrange, hybridizing to minimize energy. Hybrid orbitals can be used to explain the 3D structure of molecules: each of the four carbon-hydrogen bonds in methane are identical because they are all formed from hybridized carbon sp3 orbitals, leading to the tetrahedral geometry around the central carbon atom. Hybrid orbitals can also be used to explain the different geometries of benzene and cyclohexane. Use Wolfram|Alpha to compute hybridization for organic and inorganic molecules alike.