Physics: Principles with Applications (7th Edition)

Published by Pearson
ISBN 10: 0-32162-592-7
ISBN 13: 978-0-32162-592-2

Chapter 29 - Molecules and Solids - Questions: 4

Answer

An $H_{3}$ has a third electron which must move into a higher energy state. The ion $H_{3}^{+}$ does not have this third electron and is therefore lower energy with a stable electron configuration.

Work Step by Step

The $H_{3}$ molecule has 3 electrons, only two of which can be in the low-energy 1s state (if they have opposite spins) according to the Pauli exclusion principle. The third electron must be farther from the nucleus, and is less tightly bound, which destabilizes $H_{3}$. However, $H_{3}^{+}$ has just 2 electrons, both of which can be in the low-energy 1s state (if they have opposite spins) according to the Pauli exclusion principle. This results in a closed shell and a spherically symmetric electron distribution, which is relatively more stable.
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