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S-electrons can "penetrate" the nucleus (be found at the nucleus) because it has a nonzero probability at the nucleus. Therefore the s-oribtal has a spherical shape encompassing the nucleus, while the higher orbitals (p,d,f) have nodal planes (zero probability of being found) at the nucleus.
sofiakrylova3j wrote:How does the ability to "penetrate" the nucleus account for higher Zeff?
Ability to penetrate means that the electron can be closer to the nucleus, thus the net positive charge experienced by the electron will be stronger than the net positive charge experienced by the electron that's farrr away from the nucleus, making Zeff higher.
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