3 Modern Atomic Theory

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1 CHAPTER 4 3 Modern Atomic Theory SECTION Atoms KEY IDEAS As you read this section, keep these questions in mind: How are electrons organized in an atom? Can the exact location of an electron be determined? How do electrons move between energy s? What Is the Modern Model of the Atom? The modern model of the atom is very different from the model proposed by Rutherford. Remember that in Rutherford s atomic model, electrons could be found at any distance from the nucleus. Today, scientists know that electrons are found at only a few specific distances from the nucleus. In addition, we know today that it is impossible to determine exactly where an electron is at any specific time. BOHR S MODEL OF THE ATOM In 1913, Danish physicist Niels Bohr showed that electrons can be found only in certain energy s, or regions, around the nucleus. Electrons must gain energy to move to a higher energy. They must lose energy to move to a lower. You can use a house, such as the one in the figure below, to help you understand Bohr s model. Imagine that the nucleus of an atom is in a deep basement. Electrons can be on any floor, but they cannot be between floors. Electrons gain energy by riding up the elevator, and lose energy by riding down. READING TOOLBOX Summarize As you read this section, underline the main ideas in each paragraph. When you finish reading, write a summary of the section using the underlined ideas. 1. Describe What must happen to an electron in order for it to move to a higher energy? 4th energy 3rd energy In the Bohr model, electrons can be found only in certain energy s around the nucleus. 2nd energy 1st energy 2. Infer If an electron moves from the third energy to the second energy, has it gained or lost energy? Interactive Reader 81 Atoms

2 3. Explain Why didn t scientists use Bohr s atomic model to describe all the elements? THE MODERN ATOMIC MODEL In Bohr s model, electrons orbited the nucleus like planets orbit a star. However, Bohr s atomic model worked only for hydrogen. Other scientists realized that other elements were better described by combining Bohr s ideas about energy s with ideas about probability. Imagine a spinning propeller on a plane, such as the one shown below. If someone asked you where a certain propeller blade was at a certain time, it would be difficult to answer. However, you could tell the person that the blade was probably somewhere within the blurred region at the front of the plane. 4. Define What is an orbital? In a similar way, we cannot know the exact position, speed, and direction of an electron at the same time. This is because electrons exist as clouds around the nucleus. Therefore, scientists can determine only how likely it is that an electron is in a certain place. This region is called an orbital. An orbital is a region in which an electron is most likely to be. The shaded region is an orbital. The orbital is the region in which an electron is most likely to be. 5. Identify Label the orbital in the figure. Interactive Reader 82 Atoms

3 How Do Electrons Fill Energy Levels? Within an atom, electrons have different amounts of energy and exist in different energy s. Recall that there are many possible energy s in an atom. Each energy can hold a specific number of electrons. For example, the first energy can hold up to two electrons. The more electrons an atom has, the more energy s are filled. The figure below shows how many electrons different energy s can hold. Electrons fill energy s in order from lowest energy to highest energy. For example, lithium atoms have three electrons. Two of the electrons fill the first energy. The third electron is located in the second energy. 6. Infer How is the modern atomic model similar to Bohr s model of the atom? Electron Energy Levels 32e Energy 4 18e 8e 2e Energy 3 Energy 2 Energy 1 Each energy can hold a different number of electrons. 7. Describe An atom contains nine electrons. In which energy s are the electrons located? The electrons in the outer energy of an atom are called valence electrons. Valence electrons determine the chemical properties of an atom. For example, all atoms with one valence electron behave in a similar way. Each energy contains one or more subshells. There are four different kinds of subshells. Each kind of subshell is represented by a different letter: s, p, d, or f. Each subshell has a different shape. The lower the energy, the fewer subshells are in the energy. For example, the first energy contains only an s subshell. The third energy contains s, p, and d subshells. Each subshell contains one or more orbitals. Each orbital can hold up to two electrons. An s subshell contains only one orbital, so it can hold up to two electrons. A p subshell contains three orbitals, as shown in the figures on the next page. The different orbitals have different orientations, or directions, in space. Each orbital can hold up to two electrons. Therefore, the three orbitals in the p subshell together can hold up to six electrons. 8. Define What are valence electrons? 9. Describe How many electrons can an s subshell hold? Interactive Reader 83 Atoms

4 y y y 10. Compare How are the three p orbitals different from one another? z x z x z x There are three kinds of p orbitals. The shapes of the d and f orbitals are very complex. It is very difficult to show them in a drawing. There are five different kinds of d orbitals. Therefore, all the d orbitals together can hold up to ten electrons. There are seven different kinds of f orbitals, so all the f orbitals together can hold up to 14 electrons. Discuss It can be difficult to understand energy s and orbitals. After you read about energy s and orbitals, discuss any questions you have with a small group. 11. Describe An atom has electrons in the first and second energy s. What is the greatest number of electrons it could have? ELECTRONS AND ORBITALS Every energy contains a certain number of orbitals. Each orbital can hold two electrons. Therefore, the number of orbitals determines the total number of electrons in that energy. For instance, the second energy of an atom has four orbitals: one s orbital and three p orbitals. Therefore, the second energy can hold up to eight electrons. The figure below shows the maximum number of electrons in each energy. Energy Number of orbitals by type s p d f Total number of orbitals = = = Maximum number of electrons How Can Electrons Move in an Atom? An electron is never found between energy s. Instead, it jumps from one to the next. What makes an atom move from one energy to another? Electrons move between energy s when an atom gains or loses energy. Interactive Reader 84 Atoms

5 GROUND STATE AND EXCITED STATE The lowest state of energy of an electron is called its ground state. When an electron gains energy, it moves to an excited state in a higher energy. Electrons gain energy by absorbing photons. A photon is the smallest unit of light energy. It is a little bit like an atom of light. When an electron falls to a lower energy, it releases one photon. Photons have different energies. The energy of the photon affects which energy an electron can move to. The higher the energy of the photon, the higher the energy the electron can jump to. 12. Define What is the ground state of an electron? Photon is absorbed Key: Electron Energy When an electron absorbs a photon, the electron can jump to a higher energy. 13. Identify On the figure, label the correct illustrations with ground state or excited state. ATOMS AND LIGHT The energy of a photon is related to the wavelength of the light. Atoms of a given element can only gain or lose energy in specific amounts. These amounts of energy correspond to light of certain wavelengths, or colors. Therefore, the colors of light that are emitted or absorbed by an element can be used to identify the element. For example, neon signs use energy from electricity to excite atoms of neon gas. The atoms of neon first gain the energy and then release it in the form of light. The wavelength of visible light determines the color of light. Fireworks are another example. The colors of fireworks are produced by burning compounds of magnesium, aluminum, and sodium salts. Interactive Reader 85 Atoms

6 Section 3 Review SECTION VOCABULARY orbital a region in an atom where there is a high probability of finding electrons photon a unit or quantum of light; a particle of electromagnetic radiation that has zero rest mass and carries a quantum of energy valence electron an electron that is found in the outermost shell of an atom and that determines the atom s chemical properties 1. Apply Concepts An atom s valence electrons are in the second energy. Which two orbitals could the valence electrons be in? 2. Describe Relationships How are energy s and orbitals related? 3. Describe An atom of nitrogen contains seven electrons. Describe the number of electrons in each energy in an atom of nitrogen. 4. Infer How many valence electrons does an atom of nitrogen have? Explain your answer. 5. Explain According to the modern atomic theory, what can scientists not know about an electron? 6. Apply Concepts Aluminum has an atomic number of 13. In which energy s are the electrons in an aluminum atom? (Hint: Remember that atoms have the same number of electrons as protons.) 7. Identify How many valence electrons does an atom of aluminum have? Explain your answer. Interactive Reader 86 Atoms

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