0
$\begingroup$

Atoms always want to have a closed shell, because it requires low energy compared to the lattice enthalpy. How does this always match throughout the periodic table between the number of protons and electrons?

For example, Magnesium have 12 protons, the electron configurations ends in 3s^2, so it ‘wants’ to lose 2. Barium have 56 protons, the electron configuration ends in 6s^2, so it easily loses 2. Why in bigger atoms like Barium with the electrons having greater distance from the nucleus, they be more stable losing 3 electrons for example, and so it had 56 protons and 53 electrons instead of 54? Or for example the noble gases in the last groups be stable with more or less one electron? It’s like this orbitals rules described by Schrödinger equation are always respected, but the energy of attraction between proton and electron too, and they both always match perfectly.

I think what I mean is that +1 proton attracts +1 electron, and it fits in some orbital given the Pauli Exclusion Principle and Schrödinger equation. Why the relation between the strength of electromagnetic force and the Schrödinger equation always creates this stability between protons and electrons throughout the periodic table?

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Tagging a question about the electron configuration of high $Z$ atoms with [schroedinger-equation] is a little optimistic if you are imagining that someone can write down a solution in terms of a mathematical expression. Last I heard you still had to switch to variational solutions by the end of the third period. Now I suppose that the state of the art is ever improving, but I doubt there exist closed form solutions for atoms in the sixth period. $\endgroup$ – dmckee Jun 16 '16 at 22:18
0
$\begingroup$

You appear to be asking why atoms always have the same number of protons and electrons. I think the answer is that we define atoms to be neutral entities. There is a natural tendency for entities to be neutral : otherwise they will attract or repel additional electrons.

There are atoms with more or less electrons than protons, which we call ions. Some atoms (eg iron, vanadium) can exist stably in more than one charge state, depending on the chemical environment. Isolated atoms which are neutral do not 'want' to lose or gain electrons. Exchange and sharing of electrons takes place in the presence of other atoms, and varies according to what these other atoms are. Whether or not an electron is lost or gained or shared cannot be determined by applying quantum mechanics to one atom alone.

However, you also mention the Schrodinger Wave Equation and the Pauli Exclusion Principle, which explain how electrons arrange themselves within an atom or ion. So perhaps you are asking a more complex question, but it is not clear what this question is.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.