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Atomic Structure Teaching Resources

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Atomic Structure Teaching Resources

Eric Grunden

Raleigh Charter High School

Raleigh, NC

- Chemistry EOC (not that this matters anymore…)
- 2.01 Analyze the historical development of the current atomic theory.
- Early contributions: Democritus and Dalton.
- The discovery of the electron: Thomson and Millikan.
- The discovery of the nucleus, proton and neutron: Rutherford and Chadwick.
- The Bohr model.
- The quantum mechanical model.

- 2.02 Examine the nature of atomic structure.
- Subatomic particles: protons, neutrons, and electrons.
- Mass number.
- Atomic number.
- Isotopes.

- AP Chemistry
1. Evidence for the atomic theory

2. Atomic masses; determination by chemical and physical means

3. Atomic number and mass number; isotopes

4. Electron energy levels: atomic spectra, quantum numbers, atomic orbitals

5. Periodic relationships including, for example, atomic radii, ionization energies,

electron affinities, oxidation states

- Primary Documents
- Dalton reading

- Simulations
- Gold Foil Experiment (requires Java –standalone/web)

- The APE MAN!
- Atomic Number = Protons = Electrons
- Mass Number = Atomic Number + Neutrons

- Be the envy of your Social Science colleagues!
- Dalton’s A New System of Chemical Philosophy(suitable for moderate readers)
- Bohr’s On the Constitutions of Atoms and Molecules(very readable, though complex; complete with math for the truly adventurous)
- Others available by search or from the Chemteam website.

- Excerpting is the way to go
- Pair students and have them explain passages to each other
- Scalable up to more advanced students

- Challenging Concepts!
- Revolutionary period – not “normal science”
- Highly abstract nature
- Cognitive dissonance is good!

- History of Light and electrons are intertwined…

Light theory

Faraday suggests electricity and magnetism related

Photoelectric Effect (supports particle interpretation –Einstein relates to Planck’s quanta concept)

Newton proposes particle theory of light

Hooke proposes wave theory

Maxwell’s Equations relate light, electricity, magnetism

Huyghens’ Principle supports waves

Hertz detects radio waves (supports wave theory)

De Broglie proposes matter has wave-like qualities

Young: 2-slit experiment shows wave behavior

Planck puts idea in Einstein’s head

1600

1700

1800

1900

1915

1930

Thomson (JJ) discovers electron

Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

Balmer, Rydberg relate emission spectrum lines to counting number “n”

Bohr Model proposed

Davisson/G.P. Thomson (irony!): electron diffraction

Schrödinger Wave Model

Electron Theory

Pauli Exclusion Principle

- Observation of spectra without explanation (Kirchoff/Bunsen)
- Balmer/Rydberg develop a mathematical relationship without an explanation
- Quantization of energy required as a concept

- There was no “ultraviolet catastrophe”
- Term not coined until 1911
- There was a disagreement between theory and observation, but no catastrophe

- Planck did not quantize light
- Einstein did this later

- Wave-Particle Duality
- Einstein suggests that photoelectric effect results can only be explained if light behaves like a particle

- Quantum Indeterminacy
- Objects exist in indetermined states until observed
- Schrödinger’s Cat
- Ghostbusters

- Hund’s Rule = Monopoly houses
- Balmer/Rydberg develop a mathematical relationship without an explanation
- Quantization of energy required as a concept

Bohr Model Applet (web)

Electron Model Comparison (requires Java –standalone/web)

Orbital Viewer (standalone, downloadable)

- Hydrogen Spectrum Lab(h/t Mike Jones, Pisgah HS)
- Flame Tests
- DON’T use petri dishes, spray bottles, dry salts (safety/toxicity concerns)
- Try instead
- Wooden splints (steal from coffee shops); soak in
- Aqueous solutions of salts (plus a little MeOH): LiCl, KCl (if you have cobalt glasses), CaCl2, SrCl2, boric acid (for green; I avoid Ba salts)

- Fireworks glasses (rainbow glasses)

The Atomic Theory Org Chart

It’s not just what you know, but apparently whom

Niels Bohr

JJ Thomson

Friedrich

Hund

Werner

Heisenberg

Ernest Rutherford

Henry

Moseley

Wolfgang

Pauli

Erwin

Schrödinger

Robert Millikan

Ernest

Marsden

James

Chadwick

Louis

de Broglie

Hans

Geiger

Max

Planck

Philipp

Lenard

Albert

Einstein

Manchester

Cambridge

Copenhagen

Max Born

Göttingen

Berlin

- Powerpoint presentations:
- Early Atomic Structure
- The Bohr Model
- The Schrödinger Model (quantum numbers by element)