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IB Chemistry HL Revision Notes

Topic 2: Atomic Theory

2.1: The Atom

o Relative masses and charges of sub-atomic particles:

Relative Mass


o Protons and neutrons (nucleons) in +ve nucleus.
o e- in energy levels/shells surrounding nucleus.
o Mass number (A): no. protons + no. neutrons
o Atomic Number (Z): Number of protons (defines an element)
o Charge (n): The charge on an ion (when an atom +/- e-).

o Isotope: 2+ atoms with same atomic number but different mass number.
o i.e.: same no. protons, different no. neutrons.
o Isotopes have the same chemical properties (same no. protons/e-).
o Different physical properties (different mass), e.g.: density, boiling points.
o Relative atomic mass (Ar): Average mass of all isotopes of an element.
o Ar: (% abundance of isotope x mass) / 100.
o E.g.: Chlorine: 75% 35-Cl and 25% 37-Cl
[(75 x 35) + (25 x 37)] / 100 = 35.5 g mol-1
o Abundance: (Difference between mass and Ar / total difference) x100
o E.g.: Chlorine: [(35.5 35) / ((35.5-35) + (37-35.5))] x 100 = 25% 37-Cl
[(37 35.5) / ((35.5-35) + (37-35.5))] x 100 = 75% 35-Cl
o Atoms: no. protons = Z, no. e- = Z, no. neutrons = A-Z
o Ions: no. protons = Z, no. e- = Z-n, no. neutrons = A-Z

12.1: The Mass pectrometer

o A mass spectrometer is used to determine relative atomic masses.
o There are four stages to this process.
o Vaporisation: ample inserted into machine and vaporised into gas.
o Ionisation: Vaporised sample is ionised (1+ charge) by bombardment with strea
m of high energy, fast moving e-: X + eX+ + 2eo Acceleration: Vaporised ions are accelerated through slits in parallel plates
under an electric field.
o Deflection: The ions are deflected by a magnetic field. Ions with smallest mas
s/greatest +ve charge are deflected by the most.
o Detection: Detector detects mass/charge ratio and shows relative abundance of

o A mass spectrum can be used to calculate the Ar of an element from the relativ
e abundance of different isotopes (see 2.1.6).

2.2: Electron Arrangement

o When white light passes through a prism, a continuous spectrum with colours of
all possible wavelengths is released.
o Unlike a continuous spectrum, a line spectrum only contains light emissions
(lines) at particular wavelengths.
o Each element releases a unique, characteristic line spectrum.
o If energy is supplied to an element, e- become excited and move from their low
est energy level (ground state, n=1) to a higher energy level (excited state).
o As the e- drops back into a lower shell, energy of a particular wavelength is
o e- returning to the first level (n=1) experience the greatest energy change (l
ines occur in UV region).
o e- returning to the n=2 level release less energy (lines occur in visible regi
o e- returning to the n=3 level release the least energy (lines occur in IR regi
o The lines converge towards the high energy (UV) end of the spectrum because th
energy levels also converge
o e- are arranged in energy levels of increasing energy and distance from the nu
o First principle energy level closest to nucleus, lowest energy can contain 2 e.
o Next principle energy level can contain 8 e-.
o Third principle energy level can also contain 8/18 e- (4s/3d).
o e- in the outermost energy level valence e- determines group number of an elem
o e- arrangement notation for Z20, e.g.: for Ca (Z=20).

12.2: Electron Configuration of Atoms

o First Ionisation Energy: Energy absorbed when 1 mole of e- is removed from 1 m
ole of gaseous atoms to form 1 mole of +ve ions (in kJ mol-1):
M (g)
M+ (g) + eo 1st I.E. can be used as evidence for the existence of principle energy levels
and orbitals.
o The 1st I.E. depends on:
Nuclear Charge: Nuclei (protons) are +ve. + protons + charge therefor + I.E..
Distance: + distance between nucleus and valence e- - attractive force therefor
- I.E..
hielding: Inner orbitals repel e- in outer orbitals therefor - I.E..
o Graph of 1st I.E.:
H (1s1) He (1s2): Increase - + nuclear charge, same distance (1s orbital)
He Li (2s1): ignificant decrease third e- in Li is in higher level (n=2) than f
2 (n=1) + distance.
Li Be (2s2): Increase + nuclear charge, same distance (2s orbital).

Be B (2p1): Decrease new sub-orbital (2p) + distance and shielding (by 2s)
outweigh + nuclear charge.
B C (2p2) N (2p3): Increase + nuclear charge and same distance (2p orbital). N O
(2p4): Decrease paired e- as opposed to unpaired in 2p3 paired e- shield unp
aired e-.
O F (2p5) Ne (2p6): Increase + nuclear charge and same distance (2p orbital).
o These trends are repeated for every period.
o uccessive Ionisation Energies: After 1st e- is removed, it is possible to con
tinue removing e- to give nth ionisation energies.
o e.g.: K+ (g)
K2+ (g) + e- K17+ (g)
K19+ (g) + eo uccessive ionisation energies can be used as evidence for the existence of en
o The differences between successive I.E are not equal due to the increased amou
nt of protons compared to e-, shielding and decreasing distance.
o Graph of uccessive I.E. for K (1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s2):
The first significant increase indicates the no. of valence e- and the no. of ein each principle energy level (in this case two).
1st 2nd: ignificant increase e- removed from 3p orbital after 4s.
9th 10th: ignificant increase e- removed from 2p orbital after 3s.
17th 18th: ignificant increase e- removed from 1s orbital after 2s.

o Labelling orbitals n4:
o e.g.: 1H: 1s1 (1 = principle energy level, s = sub-orbital, 1 = no. e-)
o Within a particular energy level, in order of increasing energy and distance f
rom nucleus: s<p<d<f.
o 4s sub-shell is beneath 3d sub-shell.
o Each principle energy level has a different number of orbitals and hence e-.
o Each orbital can hold a maximum of two e- spinning in opposite directions.
o An e- behaves like a particle/wave. It is impossible to determine to exact loc
of an e- at a precise moment (Heisenbergs uncertainty principle) therefor an orb
ital is used to describe the area where the e- is most likely to be.
o s-orbital: pherical
o p-orbitals: 3 dumbbell shaped orbitals (px, py, pz) arranged along x, y and z
axes to
prevent overlapping with each other.

o The Aufbau Principle: Building up principle lowest energy orbitals will be fil
led first.
o Hunds Rule: Orbitals within the same sub-shell are initially filled up singly b
efore pairing up (stable reduces repulsion).
o Apply the Aufbau principle and Hunds rule for Z54.
o These trends are repeated throughout the periodic table (for all energy levels
), except for Cr: [Ar] 3d5 4s1, Cu: [Ar] 3d10 4s1, Mo: [Kr] 4d5 5s1 and Ag:[K
r] 4d10
5s1. This is because half/full orbitals are stable (reduce repulsion).
o Boxes can be used to represent orbital to show unpaired e-.
o e.g.: Na: 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s1

o An atoms position in the periodic table is related to its e- configuration.
o The no. of valence e- determines its group number.
o The orbital in which the outermost e- are located determines which block an
atom belongs to, e.g.: s-orbital: s-block, p-orbital: p-block etc..