Atomic Structure -

Atomic Structure

Teaching & Academics



This topic mainly deals with understanding of the basic structure of an atom. It also provides insight to the electron configuration in the given element helping us to establish important properties such as reactivity, acidity / basicity of the elements. We also get introduced to one of the most fundamental concepts of quantum mechanics, atomic orbitals & electron configuration. We learn interesting idea why atomic spectrum acts like finger print of the given element.

Famous quote of one of the most brilliant scientists of all time, Richard Feynman says it all. “If all of scientific knowledge were to be destroyed and only one sentence passed on to the next generation, I believe it is that all things are made of atoms.” We understand that atom of the given element can be uniquely represented by combination of proton number & atomic mass number while Isotopes differ by atomic mass number having same proton number. We learn how to compute relative atomic mass of the element. Interestingly we get introduced to fundamental idea of quantum mechanics proposed by eminent Neil Bohr that electron can stay only in fixed energy levels called energy shells & whenever there is a transition between these shells, there is either absorption or emission of electromagnetic radiations. We touch upon the difference between continuous spectrum & discrete spectrum. We learn about absorption & emission spectrum of the element as well as its importance as finger print of the element in identification. Very important concept of Convergence Limit is also being covered. We understand about various types of atomic orbitals and electron configuration using set of rules viz. Aufbau principle, Hund’s rule & Pauli’s exclusion principle. Interestingly we also study exceptional electron configuration of Chromium & Copper.

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