Quantum numbers & orbitals



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Alicia Yu 1A
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Quantum numbers & orbitals

Postby Alicia Yu 1A » Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:21 pm

Professor Lavelle said that during lecture 2s and 2p are the same in a Hydrogen atom. Why is that?

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Re: Quantum numbers & orbitals

Postby Chem_Mod » Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:43 pm

The 2s subshell and the 2p subshell have the same principal quantum number, 2. When we solve the Schrodinger equation for one electron and one nucleus (hydrogen or any one-electron ion such as C5+) we get an equation for the energy depending only on the principal quantum number, n. We have seen this equation, (multiplied by the atomic number squared, Z2, which is 1 for hydrogen). When we try to solve the Schrodinger equation for multi-electron atoms, we can get approximate solutions, but the energy will depend on more than just n because there are other electrons repelling the electron we're considering, and they affect different subshells to different extents (shielding and penetration).

In short, other electrons in the atom/ion change the energies of the subshells relative to each other (which won't occur in hydrogen or one-electron ions).


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