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Although the structure of almost any molecule can now be obtained by ab initio calculations chemists still look for simple answers to the question “What determines the geometry of a given molecule?” For this purpose they make use of various models such as the VSEPR model and qualitative quantum mechanical models such as those based on the valence bond theory. The present state of such models, and the support for them provided by recently developed methods for analyzing calculated electron densities, are reviewed and discussed in this tutorial review.
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