Henry A. Bent

Henry A. Bent (December 21, 1926 – January 3, 2015)[1] was a professor of physical chemistry who studied molecular orbitals to develop atomic hybridization and valence bond theories.[2] Bent's rule, which predicts the orbital hybridization of a central atom as a function of the electronegativities of the substituents attached to it, is named for him.

Henry A. Bent
Born(1926-12-21)December 21, 1926
DiedJanuary 3, 2015(2015-01-03) (aged 88)
Alma materUniversity of California, Berkeley (Ph.D. 1952)
AwardsGeorge C. Pimentel Award in Chemical Education (1980)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Connecticut

University of Minnesota (1958-69) North Carolina State University, Raleigh (1969-89)

University of Pittsburgh (1989-92)

In thermodynamics he developed a global approach now known as "entropy analysis" for the entropy component of thermodynamic free energy in relation to the second law of thermodynamics and the spontaneity of various chemical processes.[3]

Bent was also interested in the periodic laws of the elements and promoted the left-step periodic table based on orbital-filling rules.[4]


  1. ^ "In memoriam: Professor Henry Albert Bent". College of Science and Engineering. University of Minnesota. 6 January 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Ainsworth, Susan J. (23 March 2015). "Henry A. Bent". Chemical and Engineering News. 93 (12): 44. Retrieved 29 March 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Bindel, Thomas H. (2004). "Teaching Entropy Analysis in the First-Year High School Course and Beyond". J. Chem. Educ. 81 (11): 1585–1594. doi:10.1021/ed081p1585.
  4. ^ Schwartz, A. Truman (2007). "New Ideas in Chemistry from Fresh Energy for the Periodic Law (Henry A. Bent)". J. Chem. Educ. 84 (9): 1431–1432. doi:10.1021/ed084p1431.