Important Features of the Quantum Mechanical Model of Atom

The basis of this model of atom is Quantum mechanics which in turn is based on Schrodinger wave equation. The important features of this model are as follows :

1. The electrons in an atom have only quantized values of energy.

2. These quantized values of energy are obtained from the solution of Schrodinger wave equation. The corresponding values of the wave function ψ are also obtained from the solution of Schrodinger wave equation.

3. The wave function ψ is simply a function of coordinates of the electron and has no physical significance as such. However, ψgives the probability of finding the electron at that point, i.e., electron density at that point. The concept of probability is justified in view of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.

4. By finding ψat different points around the nucleus in an atom, we can predict the region of space around the nucleus within which the probability of finding the electron with a definite value of energy is maximum. This space around the nucleus is called orbital. That is wave function ψ is called orbital wave function or simply atomic orbital.

5. Since an electron can have many wave functions, therefore, there are many atomic orbitals in an atom.

6. The orbital wave function ψ contains all the information about an electron in an atom and quantum mechanics helps to extract this information.


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