Inert Pair Effect

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Kyle Sheu 1C
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Inert Pair Effect

Postby Kyle Sheu 1C » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:23 pm

I was reading in Ch. 4 and ended up going back to Ch. 2, but the book's description of the inert pair effect puzzles me:

"In the later periods of the periodic table, valence s=electrons are very low in energy because of their good penetration and the low shielding ability of the d-electrons."

Could someone please shed some light on what "good penetration and the low shielding ability of the d-electrons" means? I am thoroughly perplexed! Thank you!

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Re: Inert Pair Effect

Postby Chem_Mod » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:24 pm

s orbitals have high probability density near the nucleus even for higher shells. 5s, 6s, and 7s electrons "penetrate" the inner shells more and are therefore significantly lower than the corresponding 5p, 6p, and 7p electrons Also, the 4d, 5d, and 6d electrons don't shield the positive charge of the nucleus as much as s or p electrons would, so 5s, 6s, and 7s electrons experience higher effective nuclear charges.

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