Purchase Solution

Atomic Number and Electronic Configuration in a New Universe

Not what you're looking for?

Ask Custom Question

Suppose you take a trip to a distant universe and find that the periodic table there is derived from an arrangement of quantum numbers different from the one on Earth. The rules in that universe are:

1. principal quantum number n = 1, 2, ... (as on Earth);
2. angular momentum quantum number l = 0, 1, 2, ... n - 1 (as on Earth);
3. magnetic quantum number m_l = 0, 1, 2, ... l (only positive integers up to and including l are allowed);
4. spin quantum number m_s = - 1, 0, +1 (that is, three allowed values of spin).

a) Assuming that the Pauli exclusion principle remains valid in the alternate universe, what is the maximum number of electrons that can populate a given orbital there?

b) Write the electronic configuration of the elemental with atomic number 8 in the periodic table.

c) What is the atomic number of the second noble gas?

Purchase this Solution

Solution Summary

This is a very interesting question and the solution requires you to think out-of-the-box. The solution provides strong reasoning and detailed steps on how to derive the answer of a quantum chemistry problem, when the classical quantum rules are changed.

Solution Preview

(a) Pauli's Exclusion Principle states that 'no two electrons can have the same four quantum numbers in an atom'. That means even if the first three quantum numbers (n, l, m_l) are same, the fourth quantum number, ms, should differ. As there are three allowed values of spins (m_s = -1, 0, +1) in this new universe, as opposed to two in earth, the maximum number of electrons that can populate a given orbital there ...

Solution provided by:
  • BSc (Hons),
  • MSc,
  • PhD,
Recent Feedback
  • "Thankyou for the feedback. I have a few question though; With the first statistic about cost below... “According to Sigma-Aldrich catalog, cost of 1L octane is AUD $ 392.00, whereas the cost of 1L ethanol is AUD $196.00. Moreover, if ethanol is obtained from sugar industry as a by-product, it may cost even less. Source of oxygen is ambient atmosphere, so it costs nothing. So ethanol is much cheaper than petrol, in fact it is half-priced: AUD $ (392-196) = $ 196.” I didn't think it made sense because the cost of petrol per litre is normally a dollar something or even less than a dollar not a couple of hundred of dollars. For example, a statistic that I found in america was: "U.S. ethanol production costs are about $1.20 per gallon of ethanol, or $1.82 per gallon on a gasoline-equivalent basis." However, I was wondering whether you could find an Australian statistic. Also, you mentioned that H20 is not a greenhouse gas. However, in the combustion equations it is actually carbon dioxide and water vapour which are produced and they are both greenhouse gases. Finally, how do I calculate the energy efficiency of ethanol and petrol? "
  • "Thank you!"
  • "Didnt really answer my questions but gave me a start at least."
  • "Once again this is tremendous help I can't thank you enough for not only working the problem but explaining in detail how and why!! KR"
  • "Awesome thank you so much for the help!!!"
Purchase this Solution

Free BrainMass Quizzes
Match Elements with their Symbols

Elements are provided: choose the matching one- or two-letter symbol for each element.


The quiz helps in revising basic concepts about thermochemistry.

Organic Chemistry Naming: Alkanes

This is a quiz which is designed to assist students with learning the nomenclature used to identify organic compounds. This quiz focuses on the organic compounds called Alkanes.

General Chemistry - Classification of Matter

This test will assess your knowledge on the classification of matter which includes elements, compounds and mixtures.