HW Question 2.37

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Grace Ramey 2K
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Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:01 am

HW Question 2.37

Postby Grace Ramey 2K » Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:10 am

I am slightly confused by homework problem 37 in Chapter 2. The solutions manual says that (b) is one of the answers that is true. "(b)" is as follows:

"Electrons in an s-orbital are more effective than those in other orbitals at shielding other electrons from the nuclear charge because an electron in an s-orbital can penetrate to the nucleus of the atom"

I understand that electrons in s-orbitals shield other electrons from the nuclear charge because they are at often at lower energy levels and are therefore closer to the nucleus, but I was confused by the wording "penetrate to the nucleus of the atom". What does this mean? Can an electron literally penetrate the nucleus?

Thanks for the help!

Yashaswi Dis 1K
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:04 am

Re: HW Question 2.37

Postby Yashaswi Dis 1K » Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:24 am

I am not exactly sure but I think for an electron to penetrate a nucleus means the electron can be attracted to the positive force of the nucleus and in effect shields the outermost electrons. Hope this helps!

Janine Chan 2K
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:04 am

Re: HW Question 2.37

Postby Janine Chan 2K » Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:49 pm

I believe in this case "penetrate" just means how close the electron can get to the atom. So since it "penetrates" more, it is more attracted to the nucleus and therefore more effective at shielding other electrons than orbitals that are further out from the nucleus.


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