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Atomic structure notes

Dalton model of the atom (1808)

1. All matter is made up of atoms.
2. Atoms are indivisible (cannot be divided)
3. All atoms of one element are exactly alike, but they are different from atoms of other

Dalton's last two ideas were later found to be incorrect.

Dalton's model
Solid ball

Thomson's model of the atom

 Electrons discovered by J.J Thomson (1897)

 Since cathode rays (rays coming out from the negative electrode cathode) bent
toward a positively charged plate and away from a negatively charged plate
Thomson concluded that cathode rays are composed of tiny, negatively charged
subatomic particles called electrons.

 Since matter is neutral more experiments were done and it was found that rays
coming out of the positive electrode (anode) bent away from the positively
charged plate and bent towards the negatively charged plate.

 E Goldstein(1886) concluded that rays are made of positively charged particles

called protons.

 James Chadwick discovered neutrons(1932)

Thomson's cookie dough or plum pudding model

 positively charged particles found in the nucleus
 mass = 1.67 x 10 g
 positive charge is of same magnitude as electron's negative charge.
 negatively charged particle found in a cloud outside the nucleus
 mass = 9.1 x 10 g

 neutral particle
 found in the nucleus
 mass = 1.67 x 10 g

 Atoms of an element that are chemically alike but differ in mass because of
different number of neutrons.
 Isotopes have the same atomic number, but a different mass number.
 Hydrogen has three isotopes.
 protium (1 proton and no neutrons)
 deuterium (1 proton and 1 neutron)
 tritium ( 1 proton and 2 neutrons)

 Atomic number of element is equal to the number of protons and is equal to the
number of electrons.

Chlorine element

17 atomic number
Cl symbol
35.45 atomic mass
 Mass number = number of protons + number of neutrons

 number of neutrons = mass number - atomic number

Atomic mass
 weighted average mass of all the naturally occurring isotopes of that element.

 Masses of atoms are so small that we define the atomic mass unit(amu) to scale
up the numbers.

 Carbon-12 was chosen as the reference and given a mass value of exactly 12 amu.
 Because 98% of natural carbon is C-12.

 Mass of all other atoms scaled relative to mass of C-12.

 1amu = 1/12 the mass of a carbon -12 atom.

Rutherford's model of the atom

Rutherford's gold foil experiment

 Alpha particles(positively charged) shot at a thin gold foil

 Most particles went straight through, but a few were deflected backwards

 Since most particles went straight through Rutherford concluded that the atom is
mostly empty space with electrons moving around the space.

 Since some particles were deflected or bounced back he concluded that atom
contains a small dense region called nucleus which contains protons which are
positively charged and neutrons which are neutral.

 Rutherford also estimated the size of the atom and its nucleus.

 If nucleus is the size of a small marble, then atom is the size of a foot ball field.

Rutherford's model

Electromagnetic radiation and waves

Electromagnetic radiation travels in waves.

 Wavelength represented by the Greek letter ( ) lambda is the distance between
peaks on adjacent waves.
 frequency represented by the Greek letter ( ) is the number of wave cycles
completed in one second.

 as the wavelength increase frequency decreases and the energy decreases.

 as the wavelength decreases frequency increases and the energy increases.

 wavelength and frequency are inversely related.

 All electromagnetic waves travel at the speed of light(c), 3.00 x 108m/s.

 c= wavelength x frequency

Particle nature of light

In 1900, Max Planck proposed the idea that matter can gain or lose energy only in small,
specific amounts(energy is not continuously emitted). This specific amount of energy is
called a quanta.

Analogy: A ball loses potential energy in quantized amounts(specific amounts) when it

bounces down a stairway whereas a ball loses potential energy continuously if it rolls
down a ramp.

Einstein showed that light is made up of tiny particles he called photons

A photon carries a quanta of energy.

light has both properties of particles and waves.

Bohr model of the atom

In 1913, Neils Bohr proposed that electrons orbit rapidly around nucleus, occupying
circular orbits with distinct energy levels.
 The electron orbit around the nucleus like planets orbit around the sun.
 Each electron occupies a specific orbit referred to as an energy level.
 The orbit closest to the nucleus is lowest in energy
 The orbit away from the nucleus is highest in energy.
 The energy of the orbit increases with distance from the nucleus.

Bohr used his model to explain the line spectrum of hydrogen.

Line spectrum is obtained when a gas is sealed in a gas discharge tube and energized by
electricity. When the light from the heated gas passes through a prism, an emission line
spectrum with distinct bands of color is observed. The colors correspond to wavelength
of emitted light.

"atomic fingerprint" Each element's atomic emission spectrum is unique and can be used
to identify the element.

Bohr's model could not explain the spectra of other elements.

Electrons gain energy from heat or electricity and jump to a higher energy level. These
"excited " electrons lose energy and drop to lower energy levels, which causes light to be

The colors that we see for neon signs and fireworks is an example of this process.

Energy levels and sublevels

Lowest energy state of an atom is called its ground state.

When an atom gains energy, it is in an excited state.

Energy levels , sublevels and orbitals.

 principal energy levels (n): n = 1234------------

 sublevels: s , p, d , f
 Each n level has n sublevels
 energy level 1 has only 1 sublevel 1s
 energy level 2 has only 2 sublevels s and p 2s 2p
 energy level 3 has 3 sublevels s , p and d 3s 3p 3d
 energy level 4 has four sublevels s, p, d, and f. 4s 4p 4d 4f

Quantum mechanical model of the atom

As a result of continuing research, scientists came to the conclusion that energy levels are
not neat, planet like orbits around nucleus of an atom . Instead, they are spherical regions
of space around the nucleus in which electrons are most likely to be found.

Orbital: region in space where there is a high probability of finding an electron.

Each orbital can hold a maximum of 2 electrons.

Each sublevel contains a specific number of orbitals.

The name of sublevels and orbitals is the same

s sublevel has 1 orbital
p sublevel has 3 orbitals
d sublevel has 5 orbitals
f sublevel has 7 orbitals.

Each orbital can hold a maximum of 2 electrons.

s sublevel has 1s orbital can hold 2 electrons

p sublevel has 3 orbitals can hold 6 electrons
d sublevel has 5 orbital can hold 10 electrons
f sublevel has 7 orbital can hold 14 electrons

sublevel Max # of electrons in sublevel # of orbitals

s 2 1

p 6 3

d 10 5

f 14 7

s orbital is spherical in shape , p orbitals resemble dumbbells and d and f have more
complex shapes.
Electron configuration

 ELECTRONS are arranged in different energy levels around the nucleus.

 The different energy levels are 1234---------

 The energy levels can hold different number of ELECTRONS.

 1 can hold 2 electrons, 2 - 8 electrons, 3 - 18 electrons and 4 - 32 electrons.
 Each ELEMENT has a different number of ELECTRONS.
 The number of electrons is determined by the ATOMIC NUMBER.
 For every PROTON in an ATOM there is an ELECTRON.
 The energy levels fill up in a special order.
 How ELECTRONS fill the energy levels is called the ELECTRON

Shorthand description of the arrangement of electrons by sublevel.

sublevels are filled in order of increasing energy

The aufbau principle states that each electron occupies the lowest energy orbital

1s< 2s< 3s < 3p < 4s < 3d < 4p < 5s < 4d < 5p < 6s< 4f<5d<6p<7s<5f<6d<7p

Once a sublevel has the maximum number of electrons it can hold, it is considered
"filled". Remaining electrons must then be placed into the next highest energy sublevel .

Electron configuration for He : 1s2 1 refers to the energy level s is the sublevel and 2 is
the number of electrons.
Pauli exclusion principle states that a maximum of two electrons may occupy a single
atomic orbital, but only if the electrons have opposite spins.

Hund's rule states that single electrons with the same spin must occupy each equal-energy
orbital before additional electrons with opposite spins can occupy the same orbitals.

2p orbitals

Orbital diagram
Used to show distribution of electrons within sublevels and direction of spin
Each orbital is represented by a box, boxes are labeled with energy level and sublevel
Each electron is represented by an arrow, with direction of arrow representing direction
of spin