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The electronegativity of an atom is a measure of its affinity for electrons.

The atoms of the various elements differ in their affinity for electrons.

This image distorts the conventional periodic table of the elements so that the greater the electronegativity of an atom, the higher its position in the table.

Although fluorine (F) is the most electronegative element, it is the electronegativity of runner-up oxygen (O) that is exploited by life.

Example 1: Sodium (Na) and Chlorine (Cl) = Ionic Bond

Example 2: Carbon (C) and Hydrogen (H) = Covalent Bond

Example 3: Hydrogen (H) and Oxygen (O) = Polar Covalent Bond

Molecules, like water, with polar covalent bonds
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29 January 2011