Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Why F- has less energy than F?

  1. Nov 8, 2012 #1
    It's a basic matter that atoms almost filling their upper band release energy when they become a negative ion, equivalent to say that they have a positive electron affinity. But I don't understand why the ionized state is less energetic than the originial one in this kind of atoms; having the same effective charge, one could think that since the Coulomb potential doesn't change, and there are more electrons, the energy should increase after the process. And I know that in that state more orbitals are filled with pairs of electrons and it's more "stable", but how does it influence and how could you get to that conclusion?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 13, 2012 #2
    Anyone? :(
     
  4. Nov 14, 2012 #3

    DrDu

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I fear I don't understand your question.
     
  5. Nov 14, 2012 #4
    Why Fluor free energy when it captures an electron? since the potential is the same and the repulsion is greater, shouldn't you have to give energy to create F-?
     
  6. Nov 14, 2012 #5

    DrDu

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    The extra electron gets attracted by the nucleus once it is within the mean distance of the other electrons. These become ineffective in screening the nuclear charge at these distances.
     
  7. Nov 14, 2012 #6
    Do you mean that the new electron contributes to the screening, increasing the effective nuclear charge and decreasing the potential energy?
     
  8. Nov 14, 2012 #7

    DrDu

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    No, I wanted to say that the other electrons won't completely screen the nuclear charge at small distances from the nucleus.
     
  9. Nov 14, 2012 #8
    Alright, but that happens with or without the new electron, so it shouldn't affect the energy, right? Then why does the atom release energy?
     
  10. Nov 14, 2012 #9

    DrDu

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Because this unscreened nuclear charge attracts the electron.
     
  11. Nov 14, 2012 #10
    Alright I think I got it, so due to the small distances of the other electrons to the nucleus, the effective charge would seem slightly positive to an electron far away because they don't screen it completely, right?
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook