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Chemistry LibreTexts

2: Quantum Mechanical Picture of the Atom

  • Page ID
    152849
    • 2.1: The Properties of Protons, Neutrons, and Electrons
      Electrons are extremely small. The mass of an electron is only about 1/2000 the mass of a proton or neutron, so electrons contribute virtually nothing to the total mass of an atom. Electrons have an electric charge of −1, which is equal but opposite to the charge of a proton, which is +1. All atoms have the same number of electrons as protons, so the positive and negative charges "cancel out", making atoms electrically neutral.
    • 2.2: Quanta - A New View of the World
      The fact is, however, that it is not only for real, but serves as the key that unlocks even some of the simplest aspects of modern Chemistry. Our goal in this lesson is to introduce you to this new reality, and to provide you with a conceptual understanding of it that will make Chemistry a more meaningful part of your own personal world.
    • 2.3: The Photoelectric Effect
      When light strikes materials, it can eject electrons from them. This is called the photoelectric effect, meaning that light (photo) produces electricity. One common use of the photoelectric effect is in light meters, such as those that adjust the automatic iris on various types of cameras. In a similar way, another use is in solar cells, as you probably have in your calculator or have seen on a roof top or a roadside sign.
    • 2.4: Light, Particles, and Waves
      Our intuitive view of the "real world" is one in which objects have definite masses, sizes, locations and velocities. Once we get down to the atomic level, this simple view begins to break down. It becomes totally useless when we move down to the subatomic level and consider the lightest of all chemically-significant particles, the electron. The chemical properties of a particular kind of atom depend on the arrangement and behavior of the electrons which make up almost the entire volume of the a
    • 2.5: The Bohr Atom
      Our goal in this unit is to help you understand how the arrangement of the periodic table of the elements must follow as a necessary consequence of the fundamental laws of the quantum behavior of matter. The modern theory of the atom makes full use of the wave-particle duality of matter. We will therefore present the theory in a semi-qualitative manner, emphasizing its results and their applications, rather than its derivation.
    • 2.6: The Quantum Atom
      The picture of the atom that Niels Bohr developed in 1913 served as the starting point for modern atomic theory, but it was not long before Bohr himself recognized that the advances in quantum theory that occurred through the 1920's required an even more revolutionary change in the way we view the electron as it exists in the atom. This lesson will attempt to show you this view— or at least the portion of it that can be appreciated without the aid of more than a small amount of mathematics.
    • 2.7: Atomic Electron Configurations
      According to the Pauli exclusion principle, no two electrons in the same atom can have the same set of quantum numbers (n,l,m,s). This limits the number of electrons in a given orbital to two (s = ±1), and it requires that atom containing more then two electrons must place them in standing wave patterns corresponding to higher principal quantum numbers n, which means that these electrons will be farther from the nucleus and less tightly bound by it.
    • 2.8: Oxidation States of Transition Metals
    • 2.9: Raman spectroscopy
    • 2.10: Periodic Properties of the Elements
      The periodic table in the form originally published by Dmitri Mendeleev in 1869 was an attempt to list the chemical elements in order of their atomic weights, while breaking the list into rows in such a way that elements having similar physical and chemical properties would be placed in each column. The shape and organization of the modern periodic table are direct consequences of the atomic electronic structure of the elements.