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electron is found inside a blurry “electron cloud”, also called the “probability region”.
“The more precisely the position of a particle is determined, the less precisely the momentum is known in this instant; and vice versa.”
the region of space where the electron is most likely to be found. Provides information on the energy of the electron.
is quantized, meaning: can be subdivided into small but measurable increments.
orbital is not a circular path, rather it is an energy state that can be described by the four quantum numbers.
Quantum Number (n or shell) - the main energy level of an orbital - related to the total energy of the electron in an atom - represents physically the radial distance that the probability region extends out from the nucleus - values: positive integer beginning with 1 - 2n2 rule: maximum number of electrons that can occupy a main energy level
Quantum Number (l) - energy sublevels - defines the shape of the orbital - values: 0 until the integer n-1
P D F
1 2 3
4 cloverleaf-shaped; 1 dumbbell-shaped w/ ring
(too complex to describe)
Quantum Number (ml) - describes the orientation of the orbital in space - values: integral value from –l to +l, including 0 - formula: 2l + 1 = number of ml values per sublevel
Sublevel S P D
l 0 1 2
0 -1, 0, 1 -2, -1, 0, 1, 2
Quantum Number (ms) - represents the electron spin - describes the direction of the spin of one electron in reaction to the magnetic field generated by another electron nearby. - values: +½ ( ) – clockwise spin and -½ ( ) – counterclockwise spin
how the electrons are distributed among the orbitals. state – lowest energy state of the
atom; most stable arrangement of the electrons
“The electrons fill the orbitals, one at a time, starting with the lower energy orbital then proceeding to the one with higher energy.”
- used to identify which orbital has lower energy and is filled up first as electrons are added to the atom.
- the lower the (n+l), the lower the energy
- if (n+l) values are equal, the one with lower n value has the lower energy.
“No two electrons in the same atom can have the same set of four quantum numbers.”
Consequently, it means: Only two electrons may occupy an orbital, and they must have different spins.
Maximum # of orbital # of electrons
P D F
3 5 7
6 10 14
“When electrons occupy orbitals of equal energy, they don’t pair up unless all the orbitals have been filled up by a single electron.”
Degenerate orbitals – orbitals or energy levels with the same energy
Element – has one or more unpaired electrons in its orbital – can be attracted to a magnet Element - only paired electrons in its orbitals - slightly repelled by a magnet