The beginning student of chemistry must have a knowledge of the theory which forms the basis for our understanding of chemistry and he must acquire this knowledge before he has the mathematical background required for a rigorous course of study in quantum mechanics. The present approach is designed to meet this need by stressing the physical or observable aspects of the theory through an extensive use of the electronic charge density.
The manner in which the negative charge of an atom or a molecule is arranged in three-dimensional space is determined by the electronic charge density distribution. Thus, it determines directly the sizes and shapes of molecules, their electrical moments and, indeed, all of their chemical and physical properties.
Since the charge density describes the distribution of negative charge in real space, it is a physically measurable quantity. Consequently, when used as a basis for the discussion of chemistry, the charge density allows for a direct physical picture and interpretation.
In particular, the forces exerted on a nucleus in a molecule by the other nuclei and by the electronic charge density may be rigorously calculated and interpreted in terms of classical electrostatics. Thus, given the molecular charge distribution, the stability of a chemical bond may be discussed in terms of the electrostatic requirement of achieving a zero force on the nuclei in the molecule. A chemical bond is the result of the accumulation of negative charge dens...