Chemistry Notes

Chemistry Notes - 3.2 The electronic configurations of...

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3.2 The electronic configurations of atoms The quantum theory of the atom tells us that we cannot say exactly where an electron in an atom will be at any particular moment; we can speak only of the probability of finding an electron at a particular point. So the precise orbits shown in the Rutherford model of Figure 1 misrepresent the arrangement of electrons about the nucleus. We say instead that the electrons in atoms are arranged around the nucleus in shells. The shells are regions where the probability of finding an electron is relatively high, and where, over an extended period, the electrons spend most of their time. Shells are numbered 1, 2, 3, etc., starting from 1 nearest the nucleus. This number is called the principal quantum number , and is given the symbol n . Now these shells of electrons can be divided into sub-shells, and each sub-shell is specified by a second quantum number l . How many sub-shells are there in a shell of principal quantum number 4? Assign an l value to each sub-shell.
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