# Do electron clouds overlap when hybridization occurs?

##### 1 Answer

*First of all, electron clouds CAN overlap, and they must, to form chemical bonds in the first place!*

The **attraction** of nucleus ** balance out** with the

**repulsion**of the two negatively-charged electron clouds and of the two positively-charged nuclei when bonds form at the potential energy minimum.

*And so, they must be able to overlap to form hybridized atomic orbitals in a linear combination.*

Take the

#Psi_(sp^3) = c_1psi_(s) + c_2psi_(p_x) + c_3psi_(p_y) + c_4psi_(p_z)# where each wave function

#psi# represents a given pure atomic orbital, with weighted contributions given by#c_i# . As a result,#Psi_(sp^3)# represents the#sp^3# -hybridized orbital.

All that the above equation says is that **hybridized orbitals form by the overlap of pure atomic orbitals.**

They achieve an *intermediate* energy between the original orbitals, so that all the *hybridized* orbitals are:

- the
**same energy** - the
**same look/symmetry**

So, in

This then allows the orbitals to align themselves along the internuclear axes, and **bond by head-on overlap** (meaning,