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Animation of the bonding in a beryllium hydride (BeH2) molecule. Initially a beryllium atom has two populated electron orbitals; an inner spherical 1s shell (blue) and an outer spherical 2s shell (grey). Beryllium typically forms ionic compounds through the loss of the 2s electrons, but it can also form covalent compounds with hydrogen. In beryllium hydride, one 2s electron rises to a vacant 2p level (red), and the 2p orbital and the 2s orbital hybridise, producing two identical sp orbitals (dark blue), arranged pointing away from each other. These then bond with hydrogen atoms, with a release of energy (flash).
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