Friday, May 22, 2009

Beryllium dimer: Caught in the act of bonding

From Science News:

Beryllium is one of those self-loathing elements. Like helium or neon, an atom of beryllium should not partner with another, chemical theory says. But new research, published online May 21 in Science, definitively reports the nature of the beryllium-beryllium bond.

“It is a very peculiar molecule,” says Emory physical chemist Michael Heaven, who led the new work. The Be atom is small, and the calculations that describe its electronic and molecular properties “seem like something you can do with a paper and pencil,” he says. “But it turns out to be something where you need a supercomputer.”

Heaven's work was also featured in Nature.

Study discovers atoms can bond

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