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Homework Help: Quantum levels and electron configurations?

  1. Oct 17, 2008 #1
    I can't do this problem at all, can anyone help? Thanks.

    During a trip to Roswell, New Mexico, you find yourself at a cocktail party
    with aliens from another universe. You are at a loss for conversation so you offer to
    reconstruct the periodic table from memory (chemistry being the most exciting thing you
    can think of). The aliens are stupefied at your choice of conversation, but inform you that
    in their universe, certain key rules governing the properties of atoms are different. Not
    wishing to offend your charming hosts, you naturally take their physical laws into
    consideration. They are:

    • We have the same rules for n and l
    • The only allowed values for ml are from −2l to +2l
    • Only one value is allowed for ms , that is, each orbital may hold only 1 electron.
    • We have the same rule for orbital energies (i.e. 4s lower in energy than 3d, etc.)

    Use the rules above to answer the following questions:

    a. What is the maximum number of electrons held in each alien quantum
    level, n, for n = 1 through n = 6?

    b. List all the electron configurations for the alien version of the elements
    from Carbon through Vanadium. Assume each element still has the same number
    of electrons.

    c. What are the first 4 alien halogen elements?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 18, 2008 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Try to list all possible combinations of quantum numbers using these rule.

    Start with n=1 - what are acceptable values of l? For each n/l pair - what are acceptable values of m? ms?

    Then move to n=2.
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