Copper Atom Research Paper

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Copper is essential for all life, but only in small quantities. Copper appears in the periodic table at the top of Group 11 in the 4th period above silver and gold. Copper is one of the most important metals. Specifically, it is a transition metal on the periodic table. Copper is reddish with a bright metallic lustre. It is malleable, ductile, and a good conductor of heat and electricity (second only to silver in electrical conductivity). Its alloys, brass and bronze, are very important. However, to understand the structure and character of atoms of the element copper (Chemical symbol: Cu), one has to first gain knowledge on the three subatomic particles that make up copper atoms. Each atom is made up of electrons, neutrons, and protons.…show more content…
Therefore, electrons do not affect the mass number. When an atom is neutral, it contains the same number of protons and electrons. Thus, a neutral Copper atom has 29 electrons. Since electrons are constantly moving around the nucleus, their exact position is impossible to calculate. Based on electron configurations, one is able to determine the probable locations of electrons in a series of levels called energy levels. Different energy levels are able to contain different numbers of electrons. Each level is thought to be further away from the nucleus. The first energy level, nearest to the nucleus, will hold two electrons. The second energy level will hold 8 electrons; the third energy level will hold 18 electrons; the fourth energy level will hold 32 electrons; the fifth energy level will hold 32 electrons, as well and it goes on. Electrons will always try to go into the lowest possible energy level, closest to the nucleus. Since the atomic number is the number of protons and electrons, arrange the electrons in levels, always filling up an inner level before you go to an outer one. The group number is the same as the number of of electrons in the outer level of an element, except for the transition elements. Copper has 4 energy levels. Thus a ground state, neutral copper atom has 2 electrons in the 1st…show more content…
Electrons inhabit an orbital. Orbitals can be visualized as clouds around the nucleus. Orbitals do not mean that electrons travel in orbits, because due to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, it is impossible to define with absolute precision, at the same time, both the position and the momentum of an electron. Each orbital may only contain 2 electrons. The s orbital (orbital closest to the nucleus) may only contain 2 electrons and then is ordered from p orbital (three sets may contain 6 electrons at most), d orbital (five sets may contain 10 electrons at most), f orbital (seven sets may contain 14 electrons at most), and then g orbital, etcetera. In general, each energy level has these types of orbitals and each one differs in size, shape, and spatial orientation. To label an orbital, we use four different quantum numbers. The principle quantum number (n) is related to the size of the orbital. The larger the value of n, the farther away the electron is most likely from the nucleus. To clear things up, a set of orbitals that have the same value of n are in the same energy level or a shell. For a level with a given value of n, an orbital within that level will have an angular momentum quantum number (l), which is related to the shape of the orbital. An s orbital will be

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