Ionization Potential - NIST Data Patterns

Surprising Patterns among different elements

Consider Filling the s-subshell

If these specific Ionization Potentials are graphed for the sets of two elements where the s-subshell fills up, the simple graphs seem to have great similarities.

data1t These are elements:
s1 - Hydrogen-Helium 1-2;
s2 - Lithium-Beryllium 3-4;
s3 - Sodium-Magnesium 11-12;
s4 - Potassium-Calcium 19-20;
s5 - Rubidium-Strontium 37-38;
s6 - Cesium-Barium 55-56;
and
s7 - Francium-Radium 87-88.

It seems that there might be a simple pattern present. Consider the s1 situation first. We have Hydrogen as having an Ionization potential of 13.5984 eV. Consider the possibility that a second electron was to be added to the exact same orbit, along with a second proton in the nucleus. The added attraction due to the proton should cause an added bonding energy of another 13.5984 eV. If we assume that the two co-orbiting electrons would behave as LaGrange objects sharing an orbit on opposite sides, the new electron would be twice as far away as the proton in the nucleus, and by inverse-square, would have 1/4 the binding energy effects, even though it has the exact same (but opposite) charge. Therefore, that new electron should account for a NEGATIVE 13.5984/4 or around -3.4eV. Therefore, we might predict that the new Ionization potential for Helium might be 13.6 + 13.6 - 3.4 or 23.8eV. The actual measured Ionization Potential for Helium is 24.5874eV, surprisingly similar. If we determined that the orbital radius had changed by only around 1%, the match could be exact.

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This might therefore suggest that the slope of these various lines might be related to the orbital radius of that particular sub-shell.


Filling the p-subshell

If the Ionization Potentials for sets of six elements where the p-subshell fills up, we get consistent patterns of seemingly extremely linear graphs except for an offset exactly at the half-filled point (three electrons of the six that can be accepted).

The exact same situation appears to exist regarding the d-subshell, where there seems to be an extremely stable arrangement where the half-filled point (five electrons of the ten that can be accepted) is true.

data1u If these data have offsets added to the upper (usually three) elements, the graphs become remarkably linear. That HAS TO have some sort of important meaning, although I have no idea what it is!

data1v

P2 includes offset of 4eV for top three.

P3 includes offset of 2.3eV for top three.

P4 includes offset of 2eV for top three.

P5 includes offset of 1eV for top three.

P6 includes offset of 1.5eV for top FOUR.

Also, a prediction is made for the Ionization Potential for Element 85, which the NIST data does not include, of certainly being extremely close to 9.5eV.


This presentation was first placed on the Internet in March 2003, and modified in March 2006.

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