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Electron Charge Density

based on 5 ratings
Author: Danielle Abadam

Grade Level: 7th to 10th; Type: Chemistry/Physical Science

Objective:

In this experiment, you will be determining the distribution of darts around a bull’s eye so that it simulates the probability of an electron being its own cloud of electrons.

Research Questions:

  • Do you think that the darts will be closer to the center or will they be more spread apart on the outer rings? Explain.
  • Is it possible to determine which ring will be hit with an educated guess? Explain.
  • Do you think that this experiment correctly simulates the placement of electrons in their appropriate electron clouds?

Materials:

  • Target with ten rings
  • Masking tape
  • Cardboard
  • Pen
  • Any number of darts

Experimental Procedure:

  1. Tape the target onto the cardboard.
  2. Tape the cardboard onto the floor.
  3. Stand on a chair and throw the darts one at a time.
  4. Once all your darts have run out, use the pen to mark the spots where your darts hit. If any of the darts are not in the rings, that dart will not count.
  5. Repeat steps 3-4 until you have thrown 100 darts.
  6. Use the chart shown below to record where your darts have landed: Ring Number Center 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Darts Hit Note: You may not have to use all spaces in the chart, or you may need more spaces depending on what kind of target you use.
  7. After recording all of the data, look back on the research questions and think about them once again. Have your answers changed now?

Terms/Concepts: electrons, Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, probability

References:

Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-uncertainty/.

Electron Clouds: http://science.jrank.org/pages/2375/Electron-Cloud.html.

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