Multi electron atom effective nuclear charge

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Rachael_1H
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:00 am

Multi electron atom effective nuclear charge

Postby Rachael_1H » Tue Oct 06, 2015 3:09 pm

In our text it states that "an effective nuclear charge for an electron in a p-orbital is lower than an electron in an s-orbital in the same shell" for multi electron atoms. I am confused because our course reader states "s-electrons have a lower energy than p-electrons in the same shell." Why does the text say that p-orbital electrons have a lower effective nuclear charge than s-orbital electrons within the same shell in multi electron atoms but our course reader says the opposite?

Chem_Mod
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Re: Multi electron atom effective nuclear charge

Postby Chem_Mod » Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:11 pm

The effective nuclear charge can be thought of as how much attraction the electrons feels towards the nucleus, or in terms of Dr. Lavelle's example, how much heat from the fire you would feel when camping. If there are people in between you and the fire, which can be thought of as other electrons occupying a lower energy orbital, you would feel less heat, or a smaller effective nuclear charge. To use arbitrary numbers, electrons close to the nucleus, in lower energy orbitals, might feel a charge of +10, while those further away, in higher energy orbitals, might feel a charge of +2.


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