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Chemistry LibreTexts

10: Multi-electron Atoms

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  • Electrons with more than one atom, such as Helium (He), and Nitrogen (N), are referred to as multi-electron atoms. Hydrogen is the only atom in the periodic table that has one electron in the orbitals under ground state. We will learn how additional electrons behave and affect a certain atom.

    • 8: The Helium Atom
      The second element in the periodic table provides our first example of a quantum-mechanical problem which cannot be solved exactly. Nevertheless, as we will show, approximation methods applied to helium can give accurate solutions in perfect agreement with experimental results. In this sense, it can be concluded that quantum mechanics is correct for atoms more complicated than hydrogen. By contrast, the Bohr theory failed miserably in attempts to apply it beyond the hydrogen atom.
    • 9: Atomic Structure and The Periodic Law
      Quantum mechanics can account for the periodic structure of the elements, by any measure a major conceptual accomplishment for any theory. Although accurate computations become increasingly more challenging as the number of electrons increases, the general patterns of atomic behavior can be predicted with remarkable accuracy.
    • Electronic Angular Wavefunction
      The electronic angular wavefunction is one spatial component of the electronic Schrödinger wave equation, which describes the motion of an electron. It depends on angular variables, θ and ϕ , and describes the direction of the orbital that the electron may occupy. Some of its solutions are equal in energy and are therefore called degenerate.
    • Electron Configuration
    • H Atom Energy Levels
    • Koopmans' Theorem
      Koopmans' theorem states that the first ionization energy of a molecule is equal to the negative of the energy of the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO).
    • Quantum Mechanical H Atom
    • Quantum Numbers for Atoms
      A total of four quantum numbers are used to describe completely the movement and trajectories of each electron within an atom. The combination of all quantum numbers of all electrons in an atom is described by a wave function that complies with the Schrödinger equation. Each electron in an atom has a unique set of quantum numbers; according to the Pauli Exclusion Principle, no two electrons can share the same combination of four quantum numbers.
    • Radial and Angular Parts of Atomic Orbitals
    • The Bohr Atom