There are diverse consequences from the operation of quantum and electrostatic forces in the atom. The partial fulfillment of the electrostatic forces keeps the nucleus and electrons together in the atom, while quantum forces cease to exist with the establishment of complete electron shells, and have, therefore, been called "saturation forces."

In the atoms of the noble gases, quantum and electrostatic forces are simultaneously fulfilled. As a result, these atoms are inert. They have no physical or chemical activity and their entry into the formation of molecules is explained by the intervention of van der Waal's cohesion forces. In all other atoms, the electrostatic forces are fulfilled when the number of orbital electrons corresponds to the nuclear charge. However, when this occurs, the electron shells are incomplete and consequendy unfulfilled quantum forces are present. When the quantum forces are fulfilled, other electrostatic forces appear.

Under these circumstances, in order to complete its outer electron shell, i.e., to fulfill the quantum forces, an atom may borrow or lose one or more electrons. This is achieved with a second atom which, by the exchange, reduces or increases its orbital electrons to fulfill its quantum forces and is left with a number of electrons consistent with a complete outer shell. The fulfillment of quantum forces requires changes that involve a displacement of electrons outside the atom itself. This exchange of electrons, properly called "electron transfer," fulfills, to be sure, the quantum forces of the atom. However, as a result of the transfer, the relationship between each nucleus and its orbital electrons is changed, resulting in covalent ions. Those atoms that have gained by the transfer and have an excess of electrons now have a negative charge while those that have lost electrons have a positive charge. As a result, new electrostatic forces appear which, although confined to the atoms themselves, influence their external behavior, as evidenced by the interaction between atoms.

An antagonistic relationship can be conceived between electrostatic and quantum forces in the sense that the fulfillment of one usually leads to appearance of the other.

Electron transfer represents only one mechanism for fulfilling the quanturn forces of the atom. Two atoms which do not have sufficient electrons in their external shells to complete the external shells of both can fulfill their quantum forces by sharing some of their electrons. By achieving a complete external shell for each atom, the sharing process satisfies the quantum forces of both atoms. This method of quantum fulfillment through the sharing of electrons also can lead to the appearance of electrostatic forces. If the two atoms are identical, the shared electrons have an intermediate position and, therefore, do not influence them. As a result, the atoms have their quantum forces fulfilled without inducing new electrostatic forces. This is the so called "homopolar bond." If, however, two atoms are dissimilar energetically, their shared electrons will be located closer to one atom than to the other, the distance being determined by the competitive influence exerted by the atoms upon the shared electrons. At the same time, other electrons will be influenced by the bond, and, as a result, their orbits will be altered to some extent. Weaker electrostatic forces will result and the bond will be intermediary between the ionic and the homopolar. Both kinds of fulfillment of quantum forces—one achieved by transfer, the other by sharing—thus lead to the appearance of new electrostatic forces in the ions or ionoids.

We must repeat here for emphasis that the fulfillment of quantum forces can take place through various avenues, either by loss or gain of electrons, or by sharing which can range from ionic to homopolar. The plurality of possibilities for fulfillment of quantum forces is very important, making it necessary to consider the results of such fulfillment on a statistical basis.

The electrostatic forces act between charged ions of opposite signs, or between atoms bound by shared electrons. Through the balance of these electrostatic forces, bound atoms appear and correspond to neutral formations, having their electrostatic forces fulfilled. However, it is only with the intervention of suitable quantum forces that the bound atoms can form a new entity, the molecule.

* We have unwillingly resorted to this too anthropomorphic term, the use of which has to be excused as didactic license.