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What is electronegativity ?


Electronegativity is a measure of the tendency of an atom to attract a bonding pair of electrons.
The Pauling scale is the most commonly used. Fluorine (the most electronegative element) is assigned a value of 4.0, and values range down to caesium and francium which are the least electronegative at 0.7.

What happens if two atoms of equal electronegativity bond together?

Consider a bond between two atoms, A and B. Each atom may be forming other bonds as well as the one shown – but these are irrelevant to the argument.

If the atoms are equally electronegative, both have the same tendency to attract the bonding pair of electrons, and so it will be found on average half way between the two atoms. To get a bond like this, A and B would usually have to be the same atom. You will find this sort of bond in, for example, H2 or Cl2molecules.