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Electron Configuration Orbitals. Unit 2. Photoelectric Effect. The emission of electrons from a metal when light shines on the metal. Particle Description of Light A quantum of energy is the minimum quantity of energy that can be lost or gained by an atom.

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photoelectric effect
Photoelectric Effect

The emission of electrons from a metal when light shines on the metal.

Particle Description of Light

A quantum of energy is the minimum quantity of energy that can be lost or gained by an atom.

Max Planck explained relationship between a quantum of energy and the frequency of radiation: E=hv

E=energy in joules

v= frequency is s-1

h= Planck’s constant 6.626 X 10-34 J s

properties of light
Properties of Light
  • Wavelength (λ, lambda) – the distance between corresponding points on adjacent waves.
  • Frequency (v)- is defined as the number of waves that pass a given point in a specific time, usually one second.
  • These are mathematically related with c=λv
  • This is the speed of light equation. c is the speed of light (m/s) λ is the wavelength of the electromagnetic wave (in m), and v is the frequency of the electromagnetic wave (in s-1).
when we refer to electrons as
When we refer to electrons as:
  • Ground state: the lowest energy state of an atom.
  • Excited state: an atom has a higher potential energy than it has in its ground state.
  • Quantum theory: the mathematical wave properties of electrons and other very small particles.
  • Emission: when electrons fall to a lower energy level, a photon is emitted.
  • Absorption: when electrons move from a lower to a higher energy level. (Energy has to be added)

A photon is a particle of electromagnetic radiation with zero mass and carries a quantum of energy.

bohr model
Bohr Model
  • Niels Bohr said electrons can circle the nucleus in allowed paths (orbits)
  • The energy of electrons is higher the further away from the nucleus.
what is your address
What is your address?
  • How many of you have the same..
    • Zip code?
    • Live on the same street?
    • Have the same house number?

Just like you can’t have the exact same address as someone an electron can not have the same set of four quantum numbers as another electron.


Diffraction- bending of a wave as it passes the edge of an object or through a small opening

  • Electron beams can interfere with each other. When waves overlap it is referred to as Interference.
heisenberg uncertainty principle
Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle
  • Werner Heisenberg, German physicist, proposed any attempt to locate a specific electron with a photon will knock the electron off its course.
  • Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle- it is impossible to determine simultaneously the position and velocity of an electron or any other particle.
  • Erwin Schrodinger, Austrian physicist (1926), stated an equation where electrons move in waves.
  • Heisenberg and Schrodinger’s theories combined laid the foundation for the Quantum theory.
  • Orbitals are three-dimensional regions around the nucleus that provides a probability of a the location of an electron.
  • Quantum numbers- specify properties of atomic orbitals and electrons in orbitals.
quantum numbers
Quantum Numbers
  • Principle quantum number, n, the main energy level occupied by the electron.
    • As n increases the electron’s energy and its average distance from the nucleus increases. The total number of orbitals that exist in a given shell, or main energy level, is equal to n2.
  • Angular momentum number, l, the shape of the orbital.
    • Values allowed for l are 0-all positive integers less than or equal to n-1.
      • So orbitals for which n=2 can have one of two shapes corresponding to l=0 and l=1. Depending on the value of l, an orbital is assigned a letter,
      • 0=s, 1=p, 2=d, 3=f.
more on quantum theory
More on quantum theory !
  • Magnetic quantum number, (m)- is the orientation of an orbital around the nucleus.
  • Spin quantum number- has 2 possible values (+1/2 or -1/2) which indicates the spin states of an electron in an orbital.

S orbitals are spherical

  • P orbitals are dumbbell shaped
  • D orbitals are complex
  • F orbits are more complex
  • SO:
    • n=1 one sublevel s
    • n=2 two sublevels; s and p
    • n=3 three sublevels; s,p and d
    • n=4 four sublevels; s,p,d and f

Seven f orbitals in each f sublevel

  • Spin Quantum Number:
    • Has only two possible values (+1/2,-1/2) which indicate the two fundamental spin states of an electron in an orbital.
rules governing electron configurations
Rules Governing Electron Configurations:
  • Remember that real atoms are not built up by adding protons and electrons one at a time.
  • There are 3 rules:
  • Aufbau principle: an electron occupies the lowest energy orbital that can receive it.
  • Pauli exclusion principle: no two electrons in the same atom can have the same set of four quantum numbers.
  • Hund’s rule: orbitals of equal energy are each occupied by one electron before any orbital is occupied by a second electron, and all electrons in singly occupied orbitals must have the same spin state.

These rules require placing as many unpaired electrons as possible in separate orbitals in the same sublevel. So electron-electron repulsion is minimized so that the electron arrangements have the lowest energy possible.

  • Applying Hund's rule shows that one electron will enter each of the three p orbitals in a main energy level before a second electron enters any of them.
  • Hund’s rule: one electron will enter each of the three p orbitals in a main energy level before a second electron enters any of them.
orbital notation



Orbital Notation
  • An unoccupied orbital is represented by a line _____ with the orbital’s name underneath the line.
  • An orbital containing one electron is represented as ____.
  • An orbital containing two electrons is represented as ____, showing the electrons paired and with opposite spin states.
  • So H and He are written like this:
    • H He
2 nd period elements
2nd period elements:
  • In the first-period elements, hydrogen and helium, electrons occupy the orbital of the first main energy level.
  • According to the Aufbau principle, after the 1s orbital is filled, the next electron occupies the s sublevel in the second main energy level.
elements of the 2 nd period li ne
Elements of the 2nd periodLi - Ne
  • The highest- occupied energy level is the electron-containing main energy level with the highest principal quantum number.
  • The highest-occupied energy level is the electron-containing main energy level with the highest principal quantum number.
  • Inner-shell electrons are electrons that are not in the highest-occupied energy level.
elements of the 3 rd period na ar
Elements of the 3rd period:Na - Ar
  • After the outer octet is filled in neon, the next electron enters the s sublevel in the n = 3 main energy level.
  • Noble-Gas Notation
  • The Group 18 elements (helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon, and radon) are called the noble gases.
  • A noble-gas configuration refers to an outer main energy level occupied, in most cases, by eight electrons.
elements of the 4 th period k kr
Elements of the 4th period:K - Kr
  • The period begins by filling the 4s orbital, the empty orbital of lowest energy.
  • With the 4s sublevel filled, the 4p and 3d sublevels are the next available vacant orbitals.
  • The 3d sublevel is lower in energy than the 4p sublevel. Therefore, the five 3d orbitals are next to be filled.
elements of the 5 th period rb xe
Elements of the 5th period:Rb - Xe
  • In the 18 elements of the fifth period, sublevels fill in a similar manner as in elements of the fourth period.
  • Successive electrons are added first to the 5s orbital, then to the 4d orbitals, and finally to the 5p orbitals.
elements of the 6 th and 7 th periods
Elements of the 6th and 7th periods:
  • 6th period consists of 32 elements. To build up electron configurations for elements of this period, electrons are added first to the 6s orbital in Cesium, Cs, and barium, Ba. Then, in lanthanum, La, an electron is added to the 5d orbital.
  • Cerium, Ce, the 4f orbitals begin to fill, giving cerium atoms a configuration of [Xe]4f15d16s2. In the next 13 elements, the 4f orbitals are filled. Next the 5d orbitals are filled and the period is completed by filling the 6porbitals.

Because the 4f and 5d orbital are very close in energy, numerous deviations from the simple rules occur as these orbital are filled.

  • The 7th period is incomplete and consists largely of synthetic elements, discussed in Nuclear Chemistry.