atoms and electrons

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Erin Schrodinger and other well-known scientists expanded on the theory of the photoelectric effect and how it is applied to the particulate properties of light, as well as how they demonstrated the phenomena of waves. As a result of his research, he began to wonder if other particles, such as electrons, could also exhibit wave-like properties. Thus, by applying knowledge of light's behavior, there was an intriguing prospect of electrons and other particles still acting in that manner (Perlov & Vilenkin,2017). EM radiation is the form of energy that emanates from space such as the sun and is also present in the surrounding of human existence. It appears in many forms such as radio waves, microwaves, X-rays and gamma rays. EM spectrum is composed of magnetic fields and electric fields that are in oscillations and also move at the speed of light in a medium such as a vacuum. The oscillations, move in two perpendicular fields that to one another. The motion of the fields is also perpendicular to the propagation of the wave and the direction of the energy. Therefore, such oscillations lead to the formation of the traverse wave. The position that an electrometric wave occupies within the electromagnetic structure is determined by the wavelength and the frequency it possesses (Pope, 2016).

Therefore, the arrangement of the EM radiations according to decreasing level of wavelength and increasing frequency include; gamma rays, X-rays, UV radiation, visible light, infrared radiation, microwaves and radio waves.

Gamma rays. The frequency of the gamma rays is above 1018 Hz while the wavelength is below 100pm (4*10-9 inches). The radiation of gamma rays may cause bodily tissue damage. However, when exposed in the right measures, it kills cancer cells. It is the atomic nuclei which produce gamma rays.

X-rays. They have two major classifications. The hard X-rays and the soft X-rays. The frequency of the soft X-ray ranges from 3*1016 to 1018. The wavelength also ranges from 10nm (4 *10-7 inches) to 4* 10 -8 inches). Additionally, X-rays are produced as a result of the acceleration of electrons.

Ultraviolet. The frequency of UV light ranges from 8*1014 to 1016 Hz. The wavelength is in the range of 380nm to 10nm. Despite being a component of human life, it remains invisible to the eye.

Visible light. It sits in the middle of the EM spectrum between UV and IR. The frequency of the visible light is in the range of 400 THz to 800 THz while the wavelength is between 740 nm to 380 nm. These are the only wavelengths that the visible eye can see.

Infrared IR. It has a frequency of 30 THz to 400 THz. The wavelength is between 100 nanometers to 740 nanometers. Although it is visible to the human eye, it is mostly felt as heat when the intensity is high (Pope, 2016).

Microwaves. The frequencies of the microwaves fall between 3 GHz to 30 trillion hertz while the wavelength lies between 10mm to 100 micrometers. They apply to the high bandwidth communications. They are also suitable for heating in the microwave ovens and other industrial applications.

Radio waves. Lowest in the EM spectrum. The frequencies are up to 30 billion hertz whereas the wavelength us above 10millimeters. These waves are used solely for communication in the entertainment and data sectors.

The ground State of Electrons

It is whereby the energy levels of an atom are at their lowest. There are various levels of determining electron configuration of atoms. The most common ones are; SPDF notation which entails placing the element in its rightful place in the periodic table then count from left to right then down again until the location of the element is arrived at. Therefore, the number arrived at will be the electron configuration. Others methods include the diagonal rule and the Occupancy rules and principles. The example of the ground state of electrons includes the existence of the system in its natural state. That is when the energy level of everything is at the lowest point ((Perlov & Vilenkin,2017).

The excited state of an atom occurs when total electron energy is lowered by the transfer of one or even more electrons to other orbitals. Therefore, during the excited state of an atom, not all electrons assume the lowest energy position. Taking the example of carbon, with the following electron configuration.

Figure 1

The excited state of carbon results when there is a transfer from of electron from orbital 2p to orbital 2s. The process will appear as follows:

Figure 2

Quantum Numbers

It refers to a value used to describe the available energy levels to the molecules or atoms. An electron inside of the atom possesses four quantum numbers. The quantum numbers are used in the description of the atomic state and also yield solutions to the Schrodinger wave equation that is for the hydrogen atom.

Orbitals. Space where are high chances of finding an electron.

Shell. These are the circular regions around the atomic nucleus. It is those circular paths where electrons traverse. Principle quantum number then marks the shells.

Sub-shell. These are the subdivisions of shells.

The Four Quantum Numbers

s, p, d, and f are subshells.

s- The first sub-shell in the first shell

s and p- Two sub-shells in the second shell

s, p and d- Three sub-shells in the third shell

s, p, d and f- Four sub-shells in the fourth shell.

Electron configuration

The electron configuration refers to the manner in which electrons are arranged in an atom. Therefore, there are two states of electron configuration, that is, ground state electron configuration and the excited state of electrons.

Hund’s rule

It is a rule than explains the electron configuration in the atoms. It stats that in case the sub-levels are filled as opposed to the orbitals, then the electrons should not get spin pairing in the orbitals, until the point the state where the orbitals would have one electron. Likewise, no orbital can contain two electrons simultaneously.

Valence Electrons

They are the electrons that occupy the remotest energy level in an atom. Similarly, it is the energy level far away from the nucleus. Therefore, they play a significant role because they are the ones which are gained or shared for an atom to reach an excited state.


Perlov, D., & Vilenkin, A. (2017). The Quantum World. In Cosmology for the Curious (pp. 143- 153). Springer, Cham.

Pope, S. S. (2016). ElectroMagnetic Radiation Effects Sciences(No. SAND2016-8094C). Sandia National Laboratories (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States).

January 05, 2023


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Atom Knowledge Theory

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