# Diamagnetic vs. Paramagnetic

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by Shjfr, Jun 14, 2008.

1. ### Shjfr 5+ Year Member

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I know this is very elementary, but I forgot the difference between these two and the definitions aren't helping me figure it out... I remember it being so easy in class...

So diamagnetic is an element with no unpaired electrons, and paramagnetic has unpaired electrons.

So is this just off the basis of electron configurations? Like... Neon is 2s2 2p6 so it is diamagnetic because it has no unpaired electrons? And oxygen is 2s2 2p4 so it has unpaired electrons (according to Hund's rule)?

I know this topic is easy, I just can't remember nor can I figure it out. Examples would be great

2. ### prydA 2+ Year Member

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you are right sir. ANY unpaired election in an orbital would make that element paramagnetic if i remember correctly, and would to some degree be aligned to a magnetic field

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3. ### lphiewok ACFAS Member 7+ Year Member

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yeah you're right but i'll explain just in case to make sure that you understand.

when are you filling out the valence electron orbitals, in this case let's say Oxygen (e- config: 1s2 2s2 2p4); you have 4 electrons in the 2nd p- subshell and there are total of 3 orbitals in p-subshell (with each being able to hold 2 electrons).

you have your 2 electrons already filling out the 2nd s orbitals (2s2) - with each pointing up and down

and for p subshell orbitals, there are 3: like __ __ __
and you have 4 electrons for your p orbitals so you will fill 3 ups first for each orbital and the 4th electron will fill up the first orbital and next two orbitals will be left with only 1 electron (instead of being filled with 2 electrons like the first orbital)

so paramagnetic would be the ones with such unfilled orbitals and dimagnetic would be the ones with both up and down filled orbitals

hope this helps

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4. ### Pediateix 2+ Year Member

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is this @Next Step Tutor question wrong.

of the following, the only diamagnetic element is.
-oxygen
-sodium
-mangesium

5. ### bentley13

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I would say that both Mg and Cd are diamagnetic.

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I agree, because electrons are paired in all orbitals.

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bentley13 likes this.

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