Some physicists claim that all of chemistry is contained in the Schrodinger equation. This is somewhat of an exaggeration, but this equation can teach us a great deal about the chemical behavior of elements and the nature of chemical bonds. We can gain insight into the periodic table of the elements and the microscopic basis of magnetism.
We can learn a great deal about the structure and properties of all atoms from the solutions to the Schrodinger equation for the hydrogen atom. These solutions have quantized values of angular momentum; we don’t need to make a separate statement about quantization as we did with the Bohr model. We label the states with a set of quantum numbers, which we’ll use later with many-electron atoms as well. We’ll see that the electron also has an intrinsic “spin” angular momentum in addition to the orbital angular momentum associated with its motion. We’ll introduce the exclusion principle, a kind of microscopic zoning ordinance that is the key to understanding many-electron atoms. This principle says that no two electrons in an atom can have the same quantum- mechanical state. Finally, we’ll use the principles of this chapter to explain the characteristic x-ray spectra of atoms.