Letter | Published:

Definition of ‘charge on an atom’ and nature of the inductive effect

Naturevolume 256pages473475 (1975) | Download Citation



A PRECISE measure of the charge on an atom in a molecule is provided by calculating the number of electrons within a sphere of covalent radius using molecular wavefunctions. The results for alkyl substitution suggest that the simple qualitative ideas of the inductive effect may be less simple than is commonly supposed and that methyl groups are not intrinsic electron donors but rather attracters of charge.

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  1. Physical Chemistry Laboratory, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, UK

    •  & W. G. RICHARDS


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