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Sep28-11, 07:21 PM
P: 181
Quote Quote by Mike H View Post
I presume that you've seen the spherical harmonics plotted for the higher-energy shells. (They're on Wikipedia somewhere, in case you haven't - I remember seeing them not too long ago.) It's not just that they're farther from the nucleus in a general sense - the probability of finding an electron is noticeably smaller nearer the nucleus for, say, an electron in the sixth energy level, relative to the second energy level.
I understand this but I think the problem still stands. Trends in ionization energy should be directly related to Z*. It makes sense to do it this way, and it is how the trend across a period is explained (Z* inc. across a period, so it is harder to pull an electron off). I don't see how any sort of distance relation should matter.