Electron probability density clouds

Electron probability density clouds - wave function. The...

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Electron probability density clouds A very important difference between the Bohr model and the full quantum mechanical treatment of the atom is that Bohr proposed that the electrons were found in very well- defined circular orbits around the nucleus, while the quantum mechanical picture of the atom has the electron essentially spread out into a cloud. We call this a probability density cloud, because the density of the cloud tells us what the probability is of finding the electron at a particular distance from the nucleus. In quantum mechanics, something called a wave function is associated with each electron state in an atom. The probability of finding an electron at a particular distance from the nucleus is related to the square of the wave function, so these electron probability density clouds are basically three-dimensional pictures of the square of the
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Unformatted text preview: wave function. The Pauli exclusion principle If you've got a hydrogen atom, with only a single electron, it's very easy to determine the possible states that electron can occupy. A particular state means one particular combination of the 4 quantum numbers; there are an infinite number of states available, but the electron is more likely to occupy a low-energy state (i.e., a low n state) than a higher-energy (higher n) state. What happens for other elements, when there is more than one electron to worry about? Can all the electrons be found in one state, the ground state, for example? It turns out that this is forbidden: the Pauli exclusion principle states that no two electrons can occupy the same state. In other words, no two electrons can have the same set of 4 quantum numbers....
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This note was uploaded on 11/22/2011 for the course PHY PHY2053 taught by Professor Davidjudd during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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