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Hi! I had a conceptual question about the shielding effect. So since the shielding is caused by the energy shells and how the outer electrons don't feel the whole nuclear charge because the lower electrons are blocking it, does this assume that the electrons are in line with each other in the shells? Like the electrons are blocking the charge, so would that mean that the electrons are right behind one another? How is it possible to make this assumption if we don't know the exact location of the electrons? Thanks!
Hey! So I don't think the electrons are necessarily lined up right next to each other. We never know the exact location of the electron, we only know that they are located in their orbitals which are high probability areas, like the s-orbital(sphere). Even though we don't know the exact location, the inner electrons are still able to shield the outer electrons from the nucleus.
^^ That is what I would say too - the math models we have for electrons only model where it is possible for the electrons to exist, but the exact paths and formations of electrons are unknown. I think there is also an assumption that the electrons are in some sort of constant motion (or else they would be stationary and not interact/ have properties that enable them to interact), which means that there is a constant movement of electrons within their existing space. I would imagine if the electrons are moving, it is the movement of the electrons close to the nucleus that shield the outer electrons (vs a linear blocking). Its hard without definitive models, but hopefully that answers your question a little bit :)
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