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Author Topic: Why don't electrons stay in the same energy level  (Read 359 times)

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Yusuf72

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Why don't electrons stay in the same energy level
« on: December 13, 2016, 09:12:48 AM »

Yes,my question is so simple,
Why don't  ALL the electrons stay in the same energy levels,do they push each other to up levels,  if so why two or eight electrons be able to stay toigether,
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Corribus

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Re: Why don't electrons stay in the same energy level
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2016, 10:39:06 AM »

The Pauli Exclusion Principle - it is a fundamental law of matter derived from quantum mechanics.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pauli_exclusion_principle

(if you want to think in terms of forces, you could call it an electron exchange pressure/repulsion, but that's getting deep into it)
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mikasaur

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Re: Why don't electrons stay in the same energy level
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2016, 11:05:08 AM »

I think any explanation beyond "Pauli Exclusion Principle" and "Aufbau Principle" requires a pretty deep understanding of quantum chemistry. And the deep, deep details of which might go beyond anyone's understanding.

And I suppose to answer your final subquestion, they stay together because they're attracted to the nuclei around which they "orbit".
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Or you could, you know, Google it.

Vidya

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Re: Why don't electrons stay in the same energy level
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2016, 03:24:45 AM »

Yes,my question is so simple,
Why don't  ALL the electrons stay in the same energy levels,do they push each other to up levels,  if so why two or eight electrons be able to stay toigether,

First of all you need to understand that there are no fixed boundaries of the shells.Second electrons have same charges so the arrangement of electrons must be based on minimum repulsion among them with maximum feasible attraction with the nucleus.

Enthalpy

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Re: Why don't electrons stay in the same energy level
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2016, 07:55:03 AM »

[...] Why don't all the electrons stay in the same energy levels [...] why two or eight electrons are able to stay together.
It is a behaviour of the fermions like electrons, protons, neutrons, mu, tau... as opposed to the bosons like photons. Only one electron can be in one state. This is a mathematical necessity, not a matter of repulsion. And this rule is even stronger, as it even imposes relations between the states occupied by electrons (or rather, it imposes a condition on the one wave function that describes the set of electrons: that's more stringent than "different states").

As the electron's state includes the spin which can have two values, at most two electrons can occupy the same orbital, for instance 1s, 2s...

Now, some orbitals are degenerate. 2px, 2py, 2pz have the same shape and energy, only with different orientations. Each can hold two electrons of different spin, just like the the 2s. Together, they can hold 3*2+2=8 electrons.

Then the 3s accommodates a pair, three 3p a pair each, and five 3d a pair each, totalling 18 electrons. To 4s 4p 4d comes 4f as well, and so on - this tells why the "periodic" table isn't periodic but rather pyramid-shaped.

Less simple is that these many orbitals have energies that don't organize simply because 1, 2, 3, 4... aren't well separated. For instance once all 3p are filled you get a rare gas, argon, before the 4s and 3d begin to fill, and because 3d and 4s have similar energies they fill in no simple sequence: this makes the first set of transition elements from scandium to zinc.

Here's a table that gives the orbital filling for each element:
https://www.nist.gov/sites/default/files/documents/pml/data/Periodic_Table_nocrop_2014.pdf

You can see there element tables with other shapes
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Periodic_table
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