Resonance Definition

The carbonate ion resonance structures.
The carbonate ion has three contributing structure Lewis diagrams. Together, they show the resonance of the carbonate ion. Ben Mills

Resonance Definition: Resonance is a method of describing the delocalized electrons in some molecules where the bonding cannot be explicitly expressed by a single Lewis structure.

Each individual Lewis structure is called a contributing structure of the target molecule or ion. Contributing structures are not isomers of the target molecule or ion, since they only differ by the position of delocalized electrons.

Also Known As: mesomerism

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Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Resonance Definition." ThoughtCo, Feb. 28, 2017, thoughtco.com/definition-of-resonance-in-chemistry-605616. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2017, February 28). Resonance Definition. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-resonance-in-chemistry-605616 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Resonance Definition." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-resonance-in-chemistry-605616 (accessed May 26, 2018).