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SOME REFLECTIONS CONCERNING VALENCE VARIATION AND ATOMIC STRUCTURE

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Science  04 Dec 1931:
Vol. 74, Issue 1927, pp. 553-557
DOI: 10.1126/science.74.1927.553

Abstract

In bringing to a conclusion these few scattered reflections concerning valence variation and atomic structure, may I be permitted to say this: He who is experimentally inclined may henceforth take heart and he need not be quite so timid in interpreting strange chemical reactions on the assumption of possible anomaly in the valence of the reactants. The physicist has no hesitation in speaking of the temporary existence, at the higher temperature employed in spectroscopic work, of such molecules as BaCl, AlO, (HO), CH+, CH2, MgF, etc. Is it not possible that under the influence of surface forces somewhat similar valence variation may not be excluded even at lower temperatures? That these strange compounds are thermodynamically unstable may be true. Nevertheless, they may function as the mysterious catalysts, or as initiators of chain reactions.