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Can we explain shielding effect using electric field ?

  1. Jan 7, 2015 #1
    i want to specifically focus on the mechanism inside an atom . suppose there are some electrons in the nth shell of the atom. They reduce the effective nuclear attraction on the electrons in the (n+1)th shell. can we say that the vector fields of the n shell electrons and the nucleus superimpose to yield a lesser field strength at the (n+1) shell?
    if this is a possible way to visualise the effect , then i have another question.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 7, 2015 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Look up the superposition principle.

    With the caveat that electrons are in orbitals, and thus not in precise positions or defined orbits, that's an acceptable way to see things. But remember than an electron in the (n+1)th shell has a non-zero probability of being found closer to the nucleus than one in the nth shell.
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