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For a hydrogenic atom all orbitals in a given shell are energetically degenerate. What does this mean? Are different subshells in a non‐hydrogenic atom (an atom having more than one electron) degenerate? If you believe subshells of non‐hydrogenic atoms are not degenerate propose an explanation.

Question

For a hydrogenic atom all orbitals in a given shell are energetically degenerate. What does this mean? Are different subshells in a non‐hydrogenic atom (an atom having more than one electron) degenerate? If you believe subshells of non‐hydrogenic atoms are not degenerate propose an explanation.

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Step 1

Single-electron atoms : The atoms which has only one electron is categorize into this category.

That means these atoms (or may be Ion) contains only one electron.

For eg. H-atom ,Li+2 cation , He+1 cation

Multi-electron atoms : The atoms which contains more than one electron is categorize into this category.

That means these atoms contains more than one electron.

For eg. All atoms other H-atom like He, Li, Mg, Ca etc.

Step 2

In a hydrogenic atom (i.e. single electron species) all orbitals in a given shell are energetically degentrate which means that all the orbitals present in a given subshell have same energy.

When an atom has only one electron, the energy of orbitals depends only on principle quantum number (‘n’ value)  that means a 3s orbital would have same energy like 3p orbital for single electron species.this is due the fact that atoms contains only one electron and there are no other electron present(in the surroundings) to cause shielding effect.

Step 3

But, when we have atoms with more than one electron, this degeneracy breaks down just because the attractive nuclear force between nucleus and electrons in different orbitals is now different.

The s- orbitals tends to be closer to the nucleus than p-orbital therefore it is less shielde...

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