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Energy and Stability of an Atom

Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:48 pm
by Noh_Jasmine_1J
why does lower energy mean that an atom is more stable?

Re: Energy and Stability of an Atom

Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:52 pm
by jocelyntzeng
when you add all the formal charges of all the atoms together you get the overall formal charge of the molecule, so you want to have the least charged molecule

Re: Energy and Stability of an Atom

Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:08 pm
by MaggieMatern_Dis1H
It's a kind of counter intuitive concept that is really important in biology/chemistry. Atoms and electrons are always going to favor configurations with lower energy. In the same way that electrons want to fill the lower orbitals (i.e. lower energy states) first, atoms themselves also want to have the lowest energy configuration possible because this makes them more stable.

You can think of it as a more stable atom takes less energy to hold everything together, and less stable one takes a higher amount energy to keep itself together, therefore it will want to be the most efficient and use the least energy possible.