The multipole formalism in the theory of intermolecular interactions is reviewed and the reasons for its success in applications in condensed media are analyzed. The question of the effective size of the multipoles is discussed. The effective length of the dipole moment of the water molecule is calculated on the basis of the Duncan-Pople model. The multi pole formalism is used for the first time to describe intramolecular interactions in the approximation of small electronic overlapping. The dipole and quadrupole moments of 36 diatomic molecules and bonds were calculated, and the computed values agree fairly well with experiment. The mechanism of formation of the chemical bond in diatomic molecules is discussed on the basis of the dipole-quadrupole interaction of the atoms.
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