Hidrogênio em DeLanda (2010)

A powerful illustration of this dynamic can be given by going back to the simplest of chemical segments: the humble hydrogen atom. As mentioned before, all atoms have certain emergent properties like having an outer shell that has an excess or deficit of electrons or, on the contrary, that is completely “full”. This property, in turn, defines the capacities of atoms to bond with other atoms: if the shell is full, as in the noble gases, this capacity will be very low (noble gases form only a few compounds) while a deficit or excess translates into a much greater capacity to form bonds and compounds. Most atoms have the capacity to form covalent bonds – extremely strong bonds formed by the sharing of a pair of outer shell electrons – with other atoms. This capacity is, in this sense, quite ordinary, although the result of its actual exercise is crucial for the maintenance of the identity of material entities, since covalent bonds are the glue that holds molecules, and things made out of [107] molecules, together. But in addition to this ordinary bonding capacity, hydrogen atoms possess a singular or special capacity to form weaker bonds, appropriately called “hydrogen bonds”.

This other ability can only be exercised in very special circumstances defined both by capacities to affect and be affected: the atom, or group of atoms, that are the target of the bonding operation must be electronegative, and the hydrogen atom itself must be covalently attached to another atom, or group of atoms, that is also electronegative. The fact that hydrogen bonds are easier to form and break makes them less “territorializing” than covalent bonds, that is, the molecular assemblages they form are less rigidly articulated than those formed by covalent bonds. An example of the deterritorialized molecular assemblages made possible by hydrogen bonds are genes and proteins: while the identity of a particular gene is maintained through time by its covalent bonds, its capacity to self-replicate is defined by hydrogen bonds, since the two strands of the double helix must be easily unglued, and new nucleotides easily glued to each strand serving as a template. [Nota de rodapé 34: Jean-Marie Lehn and Philip Ball. Supramolecular Chemistry. In The New Chemistry. Edited by Nina Ball. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), p. 302.] (DeLanda 2010:106-7)

DELANDA, Manuel. 2010. Deleuze: History and Science. New York: Atropos Press.