3d, 4s orbital

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3d, 4s orbital

Postby VahagnAldzhyan » Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:40 pm

Why is it that the 3d orbital comes before the 4s? I was speaking with a physicist earlier today and he said that there's two ways people usually write it: 3d,4s or 4s,3d.

Camille Ng 1D
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Re: 3d, 4s orbital

Postby Camille Ng 1D » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:00 pm

Simply, because the 3d has the n=3 energy level than n=4, in the 4s.

Lily Sperling 1E
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Re: 3d, 4s orbital

Postby Lily Sperling 1E » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:28 pm

The 3d orbital comes before the 4s orbital because the 3d state has lower energy - making it more difficult to remove. When looking at which electrons an atom will give away, it is most likely to give away the "s" electrons because they have higher energy and therefore, are easier to remove - typically the two "s" electrons travel as a pair. I was taught to write 4s before 3d in high school, however conceptually this answer avoids confusion and I assume Dr. Lavelle prefers it.

Lindsay H 2B
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Re: 3d, 4s orbital

Postby Lindsay H 2B » Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:52 pm

The fact that 3d comes before 4s can be confusing because the d-block on the periodic table doesn't begin until the 4th period, so try to think about it in the context of the angular momentum quantum numbers instead of the literal rows on the periodic table. If n=4 then l can equal 3 which corresponds to the d-orbital

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