Orbital Energies

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Sean Sugai 4E
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:17 am

Orbital Energies

Postby Sean Sugai 4E » Sun Oct 27, 2019 4:32 pm

Why do p-electrons penetrate much less than s-electrons? What does this have to do with wave function, probability density, and shielding?

Sydney Jacobs 1C
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:15 am
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Re: Orbital Energies

Postby Sydney Jacobs 1C » Sun Oct 27, 2019 4:44 pm

P-electrons penetrate much less than s-electrons because the orbital angular momentum prevents it from approaching close to nucleus. An s-electron is much closer to nucleus (the probability density is nonzero at the nucleus), and can therefore penetrate more. Therefore, since p-electrons penetrate less than s-electrons, it is more effectively shielded and experiences a lesser effective nuclear charge than an s-electron. P-electrons therefore have higher energy because they are not bound as tightly to the nucleus as s-electrons. Hope that helps!

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