Exchange energy of electrons in degenerate orbitals

  1. We are taught that a reason for the stability of half filled or fully filled orbitals is due to the high exchange energy.
    Now i get why the exchange energy would be higher compared to other configurations but i don't understand why electrons present in degenerate orbitals would want to exchange their positions..
  2. jcsd
  3. some different topics:
    An electron jumps between orbitals in the same way as it moves around within a single orbital; "nature's law". The difference is that to change orbitals, some of the quantum numbers of the electrons have to changes.
    An electron does not have a position but occupies all space. Observations of the electron position are given in the wave function. Also related to the probability distribution function.
    The orbitals are eigen states of energy operator. Electron can exist in any state, but this state is representable by superposition of eigenstates.
  4. Alright but i still haven't got my answer
  5. I'm not sure I understand your question. I don't think it's about "electrons wanting to exchange their positions", I think it's a mathematical factor that depends on the overlap of different orbitals.
  6. can you please elaborate?
    my actual question is -how is exchange energy a relevant factor to stability and what is it actually.
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