PhysicsShell Model

Shell Model

Shell Model in Nuclear Physics

The shell model is a model of the atomic nucleus which employs the Pauli exclusion principle to describe the structure of the nucleus in terms of the occupation of nuclear shells. In the shell model, the nucleus is assumed to consist of a closed shell of valence nucleons (protons or neutrons) in an otherwise empty shell. The shell model is a quantum mechanical model which is exactly solvable in many cases. The model was first proposed by Maria Goeppert-Mayer and Hans Jensen in 1949.

Shell Model of the Nuclei

The shell model of the nuclei is a model that was first proposed by Maria Goeppert Mayer and Hans Jensen in 1949. It is a modification of the liquid drop model and it explains the observed magic numbers in the nuclei.

    Register to Get Free Mock Test and Study Material


    Verify OTP Code (required)

    I agree to the terms and conditions and privacy policy.

    The model postulates that the nucleons in the nucleus are arranged in shells. The magic numbers correspond to the closed shells in which the nucleons are more tightly bound. This results in a more stable nucleus and explains the observed regularities in the nuclear properties.

    Shell Model - Physics

    What is Shell Model of Atom?

    The shell model of the atom is a model where the atom is thought of as a series of shells of electrons surrounding a central nucleus.

    Table for Energy Level with Designation of Ground State

    Energy Level Designation of Ground State

    1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s2 3d10 4p6 5s2 4d10 5p6 6s2 4f14 5d10 6p6 7s2 5f14 6d10 7p6 8s2 6f14 7d10 8p6 6d1

    The energy level designation of the ground state is the lowest energy level that an electron can occupy in an atom.

    Magic Numbers of Protons and Neutrons

    The magic numbers of protons and neutrons are, respectively, 2, 8, 20, 28, 50, 82, and 126.

    These numbers correspond to particularly stable nuclei, in which the nuclear forces are balanced in such a way as to make the nucleus particularly stable. This stability results in particularly long lifetimes for these nuclei.


    Evidence for Shell Structure

    The following is a description of the evidence for the shell structure of an atom.

    1. The discovery of the electron in 1897 by J.J. Thomson showed that atoms must have a small, dense core.

    2. In 1913, Niels Bohr proposed a model of the atom that included a small, dense nucleus with electrons orbiting around it.

    3. In 1932, James Chadwick discovered the neutron, which confirmed the existence of a small, dense nucleus.

    4. In 1955, Willis Lamb and Robert Retherford discovered the Lamb shift, which provided evidence that electrons do not orbit the nucleus in a simple, circular motion.

    5. In 1962, Eugene Wigner and H.B. Huntington proposed the shell model of the atom, which is the current model of the atom. This model explains the periodic table of the elements and the stability of atoms.

    Importance of the Model

    The shell model is important because it helps to explain the properties of atoms and molecules. The model is also important because it helps to predict the behavior of atoms and molecules in different situations.

    Limitations of the Model

    The shell model is a very successful approach to nuclear structure. However, it has some limitations.

    One of the major limitations of the shell model is that it assumes that the nucleons move independently in the potential well. While this is a good approximation for single-particle energies and for the ground state of even-even nuclei, it does not work for odd-odd nuclei, for excited states in general, or for nuclei with large angular momentum.

    In addition, the shell model cannot describe collective excitations, such as rotational or vibrational states, very well. For these types of states, a different model, such as the collective model, is needed.

    Chat on WhatsApp Call Infinity Learn

      Register to Get Free Mock Test and Study Material


      Verify OTP Code (required)

      I agree to the terms and conditions and privacy policy.