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Chemistry 125A: Freshman Organic Chemistry I - Lecture 3: Double Minima, Earnshaw's Theorem and Plum-Puddings - Professor J. Michael McBride

Lecture 3 - Double Minima, Earnshaw's Theorem and Plum-Puddings



Continuing the discussion of Lewis structures and chemical forces from the previous lecture, Professor McBride introduces the double-well potential of the ozone molecule and its structural equilibrium. The inability for inverse-square force laws to account for stable arrangements of charged particles is prescribed by Earnshaw's Theorem, which may be visualized by means of lines of force. J.J. Thomson circumvented Earnshaw's prohibition on structure by postulating a "plum-pudding" atom. When Rutherford showed that the nucleus was a point, Thomson had to conclude that Coulomb's law was invalid at small distances.
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