Atomic Theory

How exactly is it explained that two atoms with 'orbiting' electrons can combine and 'share' electrons?

For example, I find I can combine two atoms to act as one and then separate them again to their original constituent parts.

Is this because, like the parts that make up a single atom, the two atoms combine into one and have orbiting electrons then I put in the right amount of energy so that they decombine in the way I intend, or (to put a mildly sarcastic voice behind it) do they remain in close proximity to each other like the constituent parts of a single atom with the electrons 'avoiding' each other (or even repelling each other) to be easily moved apart by the energy that I put in?

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The orbits are largely

The orbits are largely metaphorical; what exists is a spatial probability that an electron associated with a nucleus will be found within a certain volume of space around the nucleus. In a compound, two nuclei in close proximity share a common volume of space in which the electron may be found. That means that the nuclei must maintain a spatial relationship to each other. To move farther apart requires a greater expenditure of energy, the energy that is required for example for 8 HgS to become 8 Hg(l) + S8(g).

Martin that makes a lot of

Martin that makes a lot of sense. Would you mind sharing how you worked out the formula for the amount of energy it takes for the nuclei to move away from each other. I'd be interested to know.

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