In Chemistry Electron classes, I was told that first ionisation energy gives evidence of electron shells.

Now is this true due to the steep increase shown on a first ionisation graph when the previous shell is emptied, or am I wrong completely?

Thanks, Dave.

  • $\begingroup$ I imagine you are correct. If you go on to study chemistry at a more advanced level you will learn more evidence for the notion of electron shells, but for now, you are right. $\endgroup$ – orthocresol Nov 8 '15 at 22:22
  • $\begingroup$ Let's start with the most basic planetary model. If the planetary model were right then copper could have any ionization energy. Since that isn't the case there must be a more complex explanation. If you then plot first ionization emery vs atomic number then you can see that there is some sort of complex pattern. The pattern is due to the electronic shell structure. The rub here is that the shell structure is too complex to deduce from the first ionization energies alone. When you figure out the shell structure though, the first ionization energies fit. $\endgroup$ – MaxW Nov 9 '15 at 0:06

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