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Hi Chemistry Community! I thought that the electrons closest to the nucleus (with lowest n-value / at ground state) had the lowest (most negative) energy, but I just saw this in the textbook: "...electron-electron repulsions cause the energy of a 2p-orbital to be higher than that of a 2s-orbital." Why is this? I know that they have the same n value, but isn't the s sub-shell closer to the nucleus? Thanks!
Yeah you're right. The electrons closest to the nucleus do have lower energy, which is why the electrons in the 2s orbital are lower in energy than the electrons in the 2p orbital. The electrons in the 2p orbital are shielded by the electrons in the 2s orbital, which cause the 2p orbital electrons to be further away from the nucleus than the 2s electrons.
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