Submitted by Joe Lomax / U.S. Naval Academy on Tue, 08/07/2018 - 08:43
My Notes
Course Level
Topics Covered

Rules for quantum numbers are confusing but not arbitrary.  They are based on wave mathmatics, and once laid out properly are symmetric and beautiful.  Within four animation-clicks of the first slide of this PowerPoint Presentation, this beauty will unfold.  I do not exaggerate to say, faculty members will be agape and students will say, "Why didn't you show us this before."  No other presentation shows in as elegant a way the relationship between 1)  n, l and ml, 2) the ordering of orbitals in hydrogen-like atoms, and 3) the ordering of orbitals in the periodic table (along with the difficulty of assigning orbital filling in transition and f-block elements).  

Beauty is in every atom.  Let it loose.

Learning Goals

A student will be able to relate the quantum numbers n, l and ml to each other.

A student will be able to correctly describe the number of subshells and number of orbitals in a shell.

A student will be able to describe the orbital energies in a hydrogen-like atom.

A student will be able to order subshells in a multi-electron system and relate this to the periodic table.

A student will realize the symmetry and beauty of quantum chemistry without ever seeing the shape of one orbtal.  

Implementation Notes

In the first two slides, often use the phrase "because it's a square."

This is useful for Inorganic Chemistry students as well because it will cement in their mind long lost rules of quantum numbers.


Evaluation Methods

1) Short answer quiz questions

2) Multiple choice questions on hour and final exams.

3) Awe.

Evaluation Results

1) From a quiz killer to a typical A, B, C student gets it right, the D student is still a bit confused and the F student still misses the idea.

2)  On a question asking, "how many orbitals in the n=3 shell", the results increased from the 40's to 80's %.  

3) As jaws dropped, quarters could be slipped into their mouths.  Faculty pulled out phones to take pictures of a white-board version before I told them I had a PowerPoint version.

Creative Commons License
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Ryan Johnson / Pikes Peak Community College/ Doherty High School

This is PHENOMENAL! Thank you!

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 17:19 Permalink
Sarah K. St. Angelo / Dickinson College

This is really cool--I want to see the looks of awe. :)

Sat, 08/08/2020 - 21:20 Permalink
Joe Lomax / U.S. Naval Academy

Dear Ryan Johnson and Sarak K. St. Angelo,Thank you for your kind words. Send me a note after you try it. Sincerely,Joe

Thu, 08/13/2020 - 15:05 Permalink