Complex Atoms

As with hydrogen-like atoms, the same quantum numbers describe states that may be filled by electrons in a more complex atom:

The Pauli Exclusion Principle requires that

no two electrons may have the same quantum numbers

Here are a few atoms, showing which states are filled with electrons:

Some of this same information can also be stated with another notation.

The principle quantum number n is explicitly stated as 1, 2, 3, 4, . . .

The orbital quantum number l is given by a letter

l = 0 is an s-state

l = 1 is a p-state

l = 2 is a d-state

l = 3 is an f-state

The number of electrons in a particular "orbital" is shown by an exponent.

Atomic Structure in Quantum Mechanics


Return to Ch 29, Atomic Physics

(c) Doug Davis, 1997; all rights reserved