This is “End-of-Chapter Material”, section 6.7 from the book Principles of General Chemistry (v. 1.0M). For details on it (including licensing), click here.

For more information on the source of this book, or why it is available for free, please see the project's home page. You can browse or download additional books there. You may also download a PDF copy of this book (147 MB) or just this chapter (8 MB), suitable for printing or most e-readers, or a .zip file containing this book's HTML files (for use in a web browser offline).

Has this book helped you? Consider passing it on:
Creative Commons supports free culture from music to education. Their licenses helped make this book available to you. helps people like you help teachers fund their classroom projects, from art supplies to books to calculators.

6.7 End-of-Chapter Material

Application Problems

  1. The lamps in street lights use emission of light from excited states of atoms to produce a characteristic glow. Light is generated by electron bombardment of a metal vapor. Of calcium and strontium, which metal vapor would you use to produce yellow light? Which metal would you use to produce red light? Calculate the energy associated with each transition and propose an explanation for the colors of the emitted light.

  2. Lasers have useful medical applications because their light is directional (permitting tight focus of the laser beam for precise cutting), monochromatic, and intense. Carbon dioxide lasers, emitting at a wavelength of 1.06 × 104 nm, are typically used in surgery.

    1. What are the frequency and energy (in kilojoules per mole) of a photon from a carbon dioxide laser?
    2. Why is monochromatic light desirable in a surgical procedure?
    3. Biological tissue consists primarily of water, which absorbs electromagnetic radiation in the infrared region of the spectrum. Suggest a plausible reason for using carbon dioxide lasers in surgery.
  3. An excimer (meaning “excited dimer”) laser emits light in the ultraviolet region of the spectrum. An example of such a laser is krypton fluoride (KrF), which emits light at a wavelength of 248 nm. What is the energy in joules of a mole of photons emitted from this laser? How much more energetic is a single photon of this wavelength than a photon from a carbon dioxide laser used in surgery (10,600 nm)?

  4. Wavelengths less than 10 nm are needed to “see” objects on an atomic or molecular scale. Such imaging can be accomplished with an electron microscope, which uses electric and magnetic fields to focus and accelerate a beam of electrons to a high velocity. Electron microscopy is now a powerful tool in chemical research. What electron velocity is needed to produce electrons with a wavelength of 4 × 10−3 nm, which is sufficient to produce an image of an atom? If electromagnetic radiation were used, what region of the electromagnetic spectrum would this correspond to?

  5. Microwave ovens operate by emitting microwave radiation, which is primarily absorbed by water molecules in food. The absorbed radiation is converted to heat through rapid oscillations of polar water molecules, which cooks the food and warms beverages. If 7.2 × 1028 photons are needed to heat 150.0 g of water from 20.0°C to 100.0°C in a microwave oven, what is the frequency of the microwaves? Metal objects should not be placed in a microwave oven because they cause sparks. Why does this cause sparks?

  6. The magnitude of the energy gap between an excited state and a ground state determines the color of visible light that is absorbed. The observed color of an object is not the color of the light it absorbs but rather the complement of that color. The accompanying rosette, first developed by Isaac Newton, shows the colors increasing in energy from red to violet. Any two colors that are opposite each other are said to be complementary (e.g., red and green are complementary).

    1. Given the absorption spectra and following table, what are the colors of the objects that produce spectra A, B, and C?

      Wavelength (nm) Color of Light
      390–453 violet
      453–492 blue
      492–577 green
      577–597 yellow
      597–622 orange
      622–780 red
    2. The decomposition of a pigment depends on many factors, but the rate of decomposition often depends on the energy of the radiation absorbed by the pigment. Which of these compounds—A, B, or C—will likely fade fastest?
    3. A painter has a sample of yellow paint. What would you expect the absorption spectrum of the paint to look like? What would the absorption spectrum look like if the paint had been contaminated with traces of a violet pigment?
  7. Photodegradation of atmospheric ozone occurs via the reaction O3 + hν → O2 + O; the maximum absorption occurs at approximately 255 nm. In what region of the electromagnetic spectrum does this occur? Based on this information, what would be the effect of depleting the ozone layer of Earth’s atmosphere?

  8. A microscope’s resolution (its ability to distinguish between two points separated by a given distance) depends on the wavelength of light used to illuminate an object. The resolution R is given by the equation R = λ/2N, where N is a constant related to the aperture. If a microscope has an aperture constant of 0.25, what is the smallest distance between two objects that can be resolved using the following light sources?

    1. red light (E = 171 kJ/mol)
    2. ultraviolet light (E = 1.20 × 103 kJ/mol)
    3. x-rays (E = 1.20 × 105 kJ/mol)
  9. Silver bromide is the photosensitive material in 35 mm photographic film. When monochromatic light falls on film, the photons are recorded if they contain sufficient energy to react with silver bromide in the film. Given that the minimum energy needed to do this is approximately 57.9 kJ/mol, explain why red light is used to light a darkroom. What happens when the door to the darkroom is opened, allowing yellow light to enter?

  10. A lighting system has recently been developed that uses a quartz bulb the size of a golf ball filled with an inert gas and a small amount of sulfur. When irradiated by microwaves, the bulb puts out as much light as hundreds of high-intensity mercury vapor lamps. Because 1000 kJ/mol is needed to ionize sulfur, can this process occur simply by irradiating sulfur atoms with microwaves? Explain your answer.

  11. The following table lists the ionization energies of some common atmospheric species:

    Species Ionization Energy (kJ/mol)
    NO 897
    CO2 1330
    O2 1170
    1. Can radiant energy corresponding to the lowest energy line in the Lyman series be used to ionize these molecules?
    2. According to the table, can radiation of this energy be transmitted through an oxygen atmosphere?
  12. An artist used a pigment that has a significant absorption peak at 450 nm, with a trace absorption at 530 nm. Based on the color chart and table in Problem 6, what was the color of the paint? Draw the absorption pattern. What would the absorption spectrum have looked like if the artist had wanted green? Using absorption spectra, explain why an equal combination of red and yellow paints produces orange.

  13. You live in a universe where an electron has four different spins (ms = +½, +¼, −½, −¼) and the periodic table has only 36 elements. Which elements would be noble gases? What would the periodic table look like? (Assume that the Pauli exclusion principle is still valid.)

  14. If you were living on a planet where there were three quantum numbers (n, l, m) instead of four, what would be the allowed combinations for an electron in a 3p orbital? How many electrons would this orbital contain assuming the Pauli exclusion principle were still in effect? How does this compare with the actual number of allowed combinations found on Earth?

  15. X-rays are frequently used to project images of the human body. Recently, however, a superior technique called magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been developed that uses proton spin to image tissues in spectacular detail. In MRI, spinning hydrogen nuclei in an organic material are irradiated with photons that contain enough energy to flip the protons to the opposite orientation. If 33.121 kJ/mol of energy is needed to flip a proton, what is the resonance frequency required to produce an MRI spectrum? Suggest why this frequency of electromagnetic radiation would be preferred over x-rays.

  16. Vanadium has been found to be a key component in a biological catalyst that reduces nitrogen to ammonia. What is the valence electron configuration of vanadium? What are the quantum numbers for each valence electron? How many unpaired electrons does vanadium have?

  17. Tellurium, a metal used in semiconductor devices, is also used as a coloring agent in porcelains and enamels. Illustrate the aufbau principle, the Pauli exclusion principle, and Hund’s rule using tellurium metal.

  18. A new element is believed to have been discovered by a team of Russian and American scientists, although its existence is yet to be independently confirmed. Six atoms of element 117, temporarily named ununseptium, were created by smashing together isotopes of calcium with the element berkelium. Give the following:

    1. the complete electron configuration of this element
    2. the valence electron configuration
    3. the number of unpaired electrons in the valence shell