Kr Atomic Number

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Quantum Numbers,
Atomic Orbitals, and
Electron Configurations

The atomic number is the number of protons in the nucleus of an atom. The number of protons define the identity of an element (i.e., an element with 6 protons is a carbon atom, no matter how many neutrons may be present). The number of protons determines how many electrons surround the nucleus, and it is the arrangement of these electrons that. The atomic number of an element is equal to the total number of protons in the nucleus of the atoms of that element. The atomic number can provide insight into the electronic configuration of the element. For example, carbon has an electron configuration of He 2s 2 2p 2, since its atomic number is 6. The atomic number is the number of protons in the nucleus of an atom. The number of protons define the identity of an element (i.e., an element with 6 protons is a carbon atom, no matter how many neutrons may be present). The number of protons determines how many electrons surround the nucleus, and it is the arrangement of these electrons that. Krypton isotopes are used in various medical and scientific applications. Kr-82 is used for the production of Rb-81/Kr-81m generators. Many of the stable isotopes of Krypton are used in the study of the pulmonary system. Kr-78 can be used for the production of Br-75 although production of Br-75 via Se-76 is more common.

Quantum Numbers and Atomic Orbitals
1. Principal Quantum Number (n)
2.Angular Momentum (Secondary, Azimunthal) Quantum Number (l)
3.Magnetic Quantum Number (ml)
4.Spin Quantum Number (ms)
Table of Allowed Quantum Numbers
Writing Electron Configurations
Properties of Monatomic Ions

Atomic Number of Krypton Krypton is a chemical element with atomic number 36 which means there are 36 protons and 36 electrons in the atomic structure. The chemical symbol for Krypton is Kr. The atom consist of a small but massive nucleus surrounded by a cloud of rapidly moving electrons.

Quantum Numbers and Atomic Orbitals

By solving the Schrödinger equation (Hy = Ey), we obtain a set of mathematical equations, called wave functions (y), which describe the probability of finding electrons at certain energy levels within an atom.

A wave function for an electron in an atom is called an atomic orbital; this atomic orbital describes a region of space in which there is a high probability of finding the electron. Energy changes within an atom are the result of an electron changing from a wave pattern with one energy to a wave pattern with a different energy (usually accompanied by the absorption or emission of a photon of light).

Each electron in an atom is described by four different quantum numbers. The first three (n, l, ml) specify the particular orbital of interest, and the fourth (ms) specifies how many electrons can occupy that orbital.

  1. Principal Quantum Number (n): n = 1, 2, 3, …,
    Specifies the energy of an electron and the size of the orbital (the distance from the nucleus of the peak in a radial probability distribution plot). All orbitals that have the same value of n are said to be in the same shell (level). For a hydrogen atom with n=1, the electron is in its ground state; if the electron is in the n=2 orbital, it is in an excited state. The total number of orbitals for a given n value is n2.
  1. Angular Momentum (Secondary, Azimunthal) Quantum Number (l): l = 0, ..., n-1.
    Specifies the shape of an orbital with a particular principal quantum number. The secondary quantum number divides the shells into smaller groups of orbitals called subshells (sublevels). Usually, a letter code is used to identify l to avoid confusion with n:

The subshell with n=2 and l=1 is the 2p subshell; if n=3 and l=0, it is the 3s subshell, and so on. The value of l also has a slight effect on the energy of the subshell; the energy of the subshell increases with l (s < p < d < f).

  1. Magnetic Quantum Number (ml): ml = -l, ..., 0, ..., +l.
    Specifies the orientation in space of an orbital of a given energy (n) and shape (l). This number divides the subshell into individual orbitals which hold the electrons; there are 2l+1 orbitals in each subshell. Thus the s subshell has only one orbital, the p subshell has three orbitals, and so on.
  1. Spin Quantum Number (ms): ms = +½ or -½.
    Specifies the orientation of the spin axis of an electron. An electron can spin in only one of two directions (sometimes called up and down).
    The Pauli exclusion principle (Wolfgang Pauli, Nobel Prize 1945) states that no two electrons in the same atom can have identical values for all four of their quantum numbers. What this means is that no more than two electrons can occupy the same orbital, and that two electrons in the same orbital must have opposite spins.
    Because an electron spins, it creates a magnetic field, which can be oriented in one of two directions. For two electrons in the same orbital, the spins must be opposite to each other; the spins are said to be paired. These substances are not attracted to magnets and are said to be diamagnetic. Atoms with more electrons that spin in one direction than another contain unpaired electrons. These substances are weakly attracted to magnets and are said to be paramagnetic.

Table of Allowed Quantum Numbers

nlmlNumber of
Number of
1-1, 0, +132p6
1-1, 0, +133p6
2-2, -1, 0, +1, +253d10
1-1, 0, +134p6
2-2, -1, 0, +1, +254d10
3-3, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2, +374f14

Writing Electron Configurations

The distribution of electrons among the orbitals of an atom is called the electron configuration. The electrons are filled in according to a scheme known as the Aufbau principle ('building-up'), which corresponds (for the most part) to increasing energy of the subshells:

1s, 2s, 2p, 3s, 3p, 4s, 3d, 4p, 5s, 4d, 5p, 6s, 4f, 5d, 6p, 7s, 5f

It is not necessary to memorize this listing, because the order in which the electrons are filled in can be read from the periodic table in the following fashion:

Or, to summarize:

In electron configurations, write in the orbitals that are occupied by electrons, followed by a superscript to indicate how many electrons are in the set of orbitals (e.g., H 1s1)

Another way to indicate the placement of electrons is an orbital diagram, in which each orbital is represented by a square (or circle), and the electrons as arrows pointing up or down (indicating the electron spin). When electrons are placed in a set of orbitals of equal energy, they are spread out as much as possible to give as few paired electrons as possible (Hund's rule).

examples will be added at a later date

In a ground state configuration, all of the electrons are in as low an energy level as it is possible for them to be. When an electron absorbs energy, it occupies a higher energy orbital, and is said to be in an excited state.

Properties of Monatomic Ions

The electrons in the outermost shell (the ones with the highest value of n) are the most energetic, and are the ones which are exposed to other atoms. This shell is known as the valence shell. The inner, core electrons (inner shell) do not usually play a role in chemical bonding.

Elements with similar properties generally have similar outer shell configurations. For instance, we already know that the alkali metals (Group I) always form ions with a +1 charge; the 'extra' s1 electron is the one that's lost:


The next shell down is now the outermost shell, which is now full — meaning there is very little tendency to gain or lose more electrons. The ion's electron configuration is the same as the nearest noble gas — the ion is said to be isoelectronic with the nearest noble gas. Atoms 'prefer' to have a filled outermost shell because this is more electronically stable.

  • The Group IIA and IIIA metals also tend to lose all of their valence electrons to form cations.
  • The Group IV and V metals can lose either the electrons from the p subshell, or from both the s and p subshells, thus attaining a pseudo-noble gas configuration.
  • The Group IV - VII non-metals gain electrons until their valence shells are full (8 electrons).
  • The Group VIII noble gases already possess a full outer shell, so they have no tendency to form ions.
Atomic number of kr
  • Transition metals (B-group) usually form +2 charges from losing the valence s electrons, but can also lose electrons from the highest d level to form other charges.


Martin S. Silberberg, Chemistry: The Molecular Nature of Matter and Change, 2nd ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2000, p. 277-284, 293-307.


Krypton was one of three noble gases discovered in 1898 by Scottish chemist and physicist Sir William Ramsay (1852-1916) and English chemist Morris William Travers (1872-1961). Ramsay and Travers discovered the gases by allowing liquid air to evaporate. As it did so, each of the gases that make up normal air boiled off, one at a time. Three of those gases—krypton, xenon, and neon, were discovered for the first time this way.

The term noble gas refers to elements in Group 18 (VIIIA) of the periodic table. The periodic table is a chart that shows how chemical elements are related to each other. These gases have been given the name 'noble' because they act as if they are 'too arrogant' to react with other elements. Until the 1960s, no compound of these gases was known. Since they are so inactive, they are also called the inert gases. Inert means inactive.




Krypton Element Family

Group 18 (VIIIA)
Noble gas


Krypton has relatively few commercial uses. All of them involve lighting systems in one way or another.

Discovery and naming

By 1898, two members of the noble gas family had been discovered. They were helium (atomic number 2) and argon (atomic number 18). But no other elements in the family had been found. The periodic table contained empty boxes between helium and argon and below argon. The missing noble gases had atomic numbers 10, 36, 54, and 86. Chemists think of empty boxes in the periodic table as 'elements waiting to be discovered.'

Number Of Protons In Krypton

Since the two known noble elements, helium and argon, are both gases, Ramsay and Travers hoped the missing elements were also gases. And if they were, they might be found in air. The problem was that air had already been carefully analyzed and found to be about 99.95 percent oxygen , nitrogen , and argon. Was it possible that the missing gases were in the last 0.05 percent of air?

To answer the question, the chemists worked not with air itself, but with liquid air. Air becomes liquid simply by cooling it far enough. The colder air becomes, the more gases within it turn into liquids. At -182.96°C (-297.33°F), oxygen changes from a gas into a liquid. At -195.79°C (-320.42°F), nitrogen changes from a gas into a liquid. And so on. Eventually, all the gases in air can be made to liquefy (change into a liquid).

But the reverse process also takes place. Suppose a container of liquid air holds 100 liters. The liquid air will warm up slowly. When its temperature reaches -195.79°C, liquid nitrogen changes back to a gas. Since about 78 percent of air is nitrogen, only 22 percent of the original liquid air (22 liters) will be left.

When the temperature reaches -182.96°C, oxygen changes from a liquid back to a gas. Since oxygen makes up 21 percent of air, another 21 percent (21 liters) of the liquid air will evaporate.

The work of Ramsay and Travers was very difficult, however, because the gases they were looking for are not abundant in air. Krypton, for example, makes up only about 0.000114 percent of air. For every 100 liters of liquid air, there would be only 0.00011, or about one-tenth of a milliliter of krypton. A tenth of a milliliter is about a drop. So Ramsay and Travers—although they didn't know it—were looking for one drop of krypton in 100 liters of liquid air!

Amazingly, they found it. The discovery of these three gases was a great credit to their skills as researchers. They suggested the name krypton for the new element. The name was taken from the Greek word kryptos for 'hidden.'

Physical properties

Krypton is a colorless, odorless gas. It has a boiling point of -152.9°C (-243.2°F) and a density of 3.64 grams per liter. That makes krypton about 2.8 times as dense as air.

'Look, up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane....

T he famous cartoon character Superman has many super powers. Everybody knows that. He's the Man of Steel. He has X-ray vision. His hearing is so good, he can tune in on one voice in a crowded city. And, of course: He's faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!

But there's one substance that weakens Superman: kryptonite! If exposed to kryptonite. Superman experiences pain and loses his super powers. If exposed for too long, he can even die.

Kryptonite, of course, is purely fictional. Despite the similarity in names, kryptonite has nothing to do with element 36, krypton. According to cartoon legend, Superman came from the planet Krypton.

Kal-El, as he was originally known, was placed in a spaceship by his parents, moments before the planet exploded.

Unfortunately, as the young Superman blasted away from Krypton, a piece of kryptonite got stuck on the spaceship. The same terrible forces that caused the planet to explode, also had created the deadly kryptonite. And, as Superman would later find out, arch-villains always seem to get their hands on this green glowing rock!

Aside from the fictitious nature of kryptonite, there is another difference between it and krypton. Kryptonite is a rock—one that can cause great harm to, well, one person anyway. Krypton is an inert gas that has no effect on anything.


Chemical properties

For many years, krypton was thought to be completely inert. Then, in the early 1960s, it was found to be possible to make certain compounds of the element. English chemist Neil Bartlett (1932-) found ways to combine noble gases with the most active element of all, fluorine. In 1963, the first krypton compounds were made—krypton difluoride (KrF 2 ) and krypton tetrafluoride (KrF 4 ). Other compounds of krypton have also been made since that time. However, these have no commercial uses. They are only laboratory curiosities.

Occurrence in nature

The abundance of krypton in the atmosphere is thought to be about 0.000108 to 0.000114 percent. The element is also formed in the Earth's crust when uranium and other radioactive elements break down. The amount in the Earth's crust is too small to estimate, however.


Six naturally occurring isotopes of krypton exist. They are krypton-78, krypton-80, krypton-82, krypton-83, krypton-84, and krypton-86. Isotopes are two or more forms of an element. Isotopes differ from each other according to their mass number. The number written to the right of the element's name is the mass number. The mass number represents the number of protons plus neutrons in the nucleus of an atom of the element. The number of protons determines the element, but the number of neutrons in the atom of any one element can vary. Each variation is an isotope.

At least sixteen radioactive isotopes of krypton are known also. A radioactive isotope is one that breaks apart and gives off some form of radiation. Radioactive isotopes are produced when very small particles are fired at atoms. These particles stick in the atoms and make them radioactive.

One radioactive isotope of krypton is used commercially, krypton-85. It can be combined with phosphors to produce materials that shine in the dark. A phosphor is a material that shines when struck by electrons. Radiation given off by krypton-85 strikes the phosphor. The phosphor then gives off light. The same isotope is also used for detecting leaks in a container. The radioactive gas is placed inside the container to be tested. Since the gas is inert, krypton will not react with anything else in the container. But if the container has a leak, some radioactive krypton-85 will escape. The isotope can be detected with special devices for detecting radiation.

Krypton-85 is also used to study the flow of blood in the human body. It is inhaled as a gas, and then absorbed by the blood. It travels through the bloodstream and the heart along with the blood. Its pathway can be followed by a technician who holds a detection device over the patient's body. The device shows where the radioactive material is going and how fast it is moving. A doctor can determine whether this behavior is normal or not.

How long is a meter?

T he meter is the standard unit of length in the metric system. It was first defined in 1791. As part of the great changes brought by the French Revolution, an entirely new system of measurement was created: the metric system.

At first, the meter was defined in a very simple way. It was the distance between two lines scratched into a metal bar kept outside Paris. For many years, that definition was satisfactory for most purposes. Of course, it created a problem. Suppose someone in the United States was in the business of making meter sticks. That person would have to travel to Paris to make a copy of the official meter. Then the copy would have to be used to make other copies. The chances for error in this process are tremendous.

In 1960, scientists had another idea. They suggested using light produced by hot krypton as the standard of length. Here is how that standard was developed:

When an element is heated, it absorbs energy from the heat. The atoms present in the element are in an 'excited,' or energetic, state. Atoms normally do not remain in an excited state very long. They give off the energy they just absorbed and return to their normal, 'unexcited' state.

The energy they give off can take different forms. One of those forms is light.

The kind of light given off is different for each element and for each isotope. The light usually consists of a series of very bright lines called a spectrum. The number and color of the lines produced is specific to each element and isotope.

When one isotope of krypton, krypton-86, is heated, it gives off a very clear, distinct, bright line with a reddish-orange color. Scientists decided to define the meter in terms of that line. They said that a meter is 1,650,763.73 times the width of that line.

This standard had many advantages. For one thing, almost anyone anywhere could find the official length of a meter. All one needed was the equipment to heat a sample of krypton-86. Then one had to look for the reddish-orange line produced. The length of the meter, then, was 1,650,763.73 times the width of that line.

This definition for the meter lasted only until 1983. Scientists then decided to define a meter by how fast light travels in a vacuum. This system is even more exact than the one based on krypton-86.


Krypton is still obtained by allowing liquid air to evaporate.

Kr Mass Element


The only commercial uses of krypton are in various kinds of lamps. When an electric current is passed through krypton gas, it gives off a very bright light. Perhaps the most common application of this principle is in airport runway lights. These lights are so bright that they can be seen even in foggy conditions for distances up to 300 meters (1,000 feet). The lights do not burn continuously. Instead, they send out very brief pulses of light. The pulses last no more than about 10 microseconds (10 millionths of a second). They flash on and off about 40 times per minute. Krypton is also used in slide and movie projectors.

Krypton gas is also used in making 'neon' lights. Neon lights are colored lights often used in advertising. They are similar to fluorescent light bulbs. But they give off a colored light because of the gas they contain. Some neon lights do contain the gas neon, but others contain other noble gases. A neon light filled with krypton, for example, glows yellow.


Compounds of krypton have been prepared in the laboratory but do not exist in nature. The synthetic (artificial) compounds are used for research purposes only.

Atomic Mass

Although neon lights sometimes do include neon, krypton is often the gas used.

Krypton Outside Particles

Health effects

There is no evidence that krypton is harmful to humans, animals, or plants.