RIP Philo

Na + Cs -> NaCs

> In work published in Science today, Mr Liu — now a PhD student at Harvard University — and colleagues used lasers as 'optical tweezers' to isolate two atoms and manoeuvre them together to form a single molecule.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-04-13/single-atoms-manipulate-create-molecule-chemical-reaction/9643760
Permalink ,ndo 
April 12th, 2018 5:16pm
Didn’t IBM do something like this 30 years ago?
Permalink Ubfyedd 
April 12th, 2018 5:18pm
1989:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_(atoms)
Permalink Ubfyedd 
April 12th, 2018 5:19pm
If you need to corral two varmits together in the same pen, just use a molecular border collie.
Permalink Reality Check 
April 12th, 2018 7:26pm
Don't proteins do this kind of thing all the time?
Permalink Anabela Huang 
April 13th, 2018 8:22am
It is only a "molecule" in isolation.

Except for noble gasses, all atoms will profit from sharing electrons, so if nothing else will be available, and kept together, almost any pair form some kind of bond.

This pair of NaCs will be 'screaming' for more matter to share its pair of loosely bound electrons.

One could regard this as an extremely fucked up hydrogen molecule, but the filled inner shells prevent the pair of valence electrons to profit much from their sharing, unlike the case of a real hydrogen molecule.

In real 'molecule-bonding' the electrons profit from their extraordinary quantum ability to avoid each other (lowering the average repulsion) while using the attraction from the nuclei.

But in the case of NaCs, the inner electrons leave very little opportunity - through those same 'avoidance mechanisms' to get close to that positive charge.
Permalink Lotti Fuehrscheim 
April 13th, 2018 10:23am
Electronic configuration is a beautiful field of science, where geometry and some simple symmetry relations can predict the chemical behaviour very accurately.

It determines most of our everyday experience of the world.

My graduation thesis was about the bonding of sodium and tin.

In a sodium tin mixture, the tin ions will behave like phosphorous, and form Sn4(4+) tetrahedral ionic molecules within the metallic mixture.

A beautiful case of both metallic and covalent bonding.
Permalink Lotti Fuehrscheim 
April 13th, 2018 10:33am

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