Chemical Bond (Encyclopedia of Science)
A chemical bond is any force of attraction that holds two atoms or ions together. In most cases, that force of attraction is between one or more negatively charged electrons held by one of the atoms and the positively charged nucleus of the second atom. Chemical bonds vary widely in their strength, ranging from relatively strong covalent bonds (in which electrons are shared between atoms) to very weak hydrogen bonds. The term chemical bond also refers to the symbolism used to represent the force of attraction between two atoms or ions. For example, in the chemical formula H, the short dashed lines are known as chemical bonds.
Theories of chemical bonds go back a long time. One of the first was developed by Roman poet Lucretius (c. 95. 55 B.C.), author of De Rerum Natura (title means "on the nature of things"). In this poem, Lucretius described atoms as tiny spheres with fishhook-like arms. Atoms combined with each other, according to Lucretius, when the hooked arms of two atoms became entangled with each other.
(The entire section is 1311 words.)
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