plzz explain quantum theory of atom - the arrangment of the sub - orbital and the quantum number(m)

Asked by  | 23rd Jun, 2008, 09:07: PM

Expert Answer:

Orbits and orbitals sound similar, but they have quite different meanings.

95% of the time (or any other percentage you choose), the electron will be found within a fairly easily defined region of space quite close to the nucleus. Such a region of space is called an orbital. You can think of an orbital as being the region of space in which the electron lives.The orbital occupied by the hydrogen electron is called a 1s orbital. The "1" represents the fact that the orbital is in the energy level closest to the nucleus. The "s" tells you about the shape of the orbital. s orbitals are spherically symmetric around the nucleus - in each case, like a hollow ball made of rather chunky material with the nucleus at its centre. 2s orbital. This is similar to a 1s orbital except that the region where there is the greatest chance of finding the electron is further from the nucleus - this is an orbital at the second energy level.

2s (and 3s, 4s, etc) electrons spend some of their time closer to the nucleus than you might expect. The effect of this is to slightly reduce the energy of electrons in s orbitals. The nearer the nucleus the electrons get, the lower their energy.

3s, 4s (etc) orbitals get progressively further from the nucleus.

Not all electrons inhabit s orbitals (in fact, very few electrons live in s orbitals). At the first energy level, the only orbital available to electrons is the 1s orbital, but at the second level, as well as a 2s orbital, there are also orbitals called 2p orbitals.

A p orbital is rather like 2 identical balloons tied together at the nucleus.

Unlike an s orbital, a p orbital points in a particular direction - the one drawn points up and down the page.

At any one energy level it is possible to have three absolutely equivalent p orbitals pointing mutually at right angles to each other. These are arbitrarily given the symbols px, py and pz. This is simply for convenience - what you might think of as the x, y or z direction changes constantly as the atom tumbles in space.

The p orbitals at the second energy level are called 2px, 2py and 2pz. There are similar orbitals at subsequent levels - 3px, 3py, 3pz, 4px, 4py, 4pz and so on.

All levels except for the first level have p orbitals. At the higher levels the lobes get more elongated, with the most likely place to find the electron more distant from the ncleus

In addition to s and p orbitals, there are two other sets of orbitals which become available for electrons to inhabit at higher energy levels. At the third level, there is a set of five d orbitals (with complicated shapes and names) as well as the 3s and 3p orbitals (3px, 3py, 3pz). At the third level there are a total of nine orbitals altogether.

At the fourth level, as well the 4s and 4p and 4d orbitals there are an additional seven f orbitals - 16 orbitals in all. s, p, d and f orbitals are then available at all higher energy levels as well.

You can think of an atom as a very bizarre house (like an inverted pyramid!) - with the nucleus living on the ground floor, and then various rooms (orbitals) on the higher floors occupied by the electrons. On the first floor there is only 1 room (the 1s orbital); on the second floor there are 4 rooms (the 2s, 2px, 2py and 2pz orbitals); on the third floor there are 9 rooms (one 3s orbital, three 3p orbitals and five 3d orbitals); and so on. But the rooms aren't very big . . . Each orbital can only hold 2 electrons

Electrons fill low energy orbitals (closer to the nucleus) before they fill higher energy ones. Where there is a choice between orbitals of equal energy, they fill the orbitals singly as far as possible.

This filling of orbitals singly where possible is known as Hund's rule. It only applies where the orbitals have exactly the same energies (as with p orbitals, for example), and helps to minimise the repulsions between electrons and so makes the atom more stable.

Answered by  | 5th Jul, 2008, 10:41: PM

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