Copper is the 29th element in the periodic table, located more specifically at group 11, period 4. Because of its chemical and physical attributes, it is a transition metal, which denotes high boiling and melting points. Both a conductor of heat and electricity, Copper is ductile and malleable. Its symbol “Cu” derives from the Latin cuprum. Copper is also valued for its two-for-one practicality: it is a vital nutrient that has antibacterial properties. Aside from what many people generally know about Copper (the “common knowledge,” so to speak), there is much information regarding its atomic buildup.
Every element’s atoms are composed of three main subatomic particles: neutrons, electrons and protons. Located in the atom’s nucleus,
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Orbitals are the regions of space that are most likely to be inhibited by electrons. Each energy state has a different orbital, and each orbital can be labeled using quantum numbers (derived from the Schrodinger equation). The principle quantum number, represented by “n,” defines the size of the orbital. This number is the period number in which the element is located. A shell is a set of orbitals that have the same “n”, and it is also an energy level. Depending on n’s value, the value of the angular momentum quantum number (“I”) can be calculated. The angular momentum quantum number (or azimuthal quantum number) dictates orbital shape: spherical when l=0 (yielding an S orbital), 2-lobed when l=1 (P orbital), with 4 lobes when l=2 (D orbital), with 6 lobes when l=3 (F orbital), and so on. The possible values for the angular momentum quantum number range from zero to n-1, where n is the principle quantum number. A subshell (or sublevel) is defined as a set of orbitals having the same n and l values. The third quantum number is the magnetic quantum number m, which explains the orbital’s spatial orientation. Values for m range between -1 and 1.
Consequently, Copper must have a peak n value of 4 (since the period number is 4), an l value of 0, 1, or 2 (since the last orbital formed is a d orbital) and an m value of 0 when l = 0, -1, 0, 1 when l = 1 and -2, -1, 0, 1, 2 when l = 2. This means that Copper has s, p, and d orbitals of different