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Blocks of the Periodic Table

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Getting in the Way

Getting in the Way

Credit: PhilyG
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Large_Outdoor_Concert.jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Where is the best place to be at a rock concert? As close to the front as possible, of course. But you get a late start, are held up by traffic, and arrive five minutes before the show starts. Are you going to get anywhere near the front? No way! There are crowds of people between you and the stage, all blocking your access.

Why It Matters

  • Blocking plays an important role in sports. The strategy of stopping a player from their destination or interfering with the path of the ball or puck contributes significantly to the ultimate victory. As is the case with electron shielding, there are levels of blocking, both direct and indirect.
  • Credit: ?
    Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alpha600/4432694841/
    License: CC BY-NC 3.0

    Another form of blocking [Figure2]


  • Basketball represents the most direct example of blocking. A player has the ball and another player gets in the way to block the shooting. No physical contact between players is allowed, but contact with the ball by either player is permitted. Once the ball has begun to descend to the goal after it has been shot, no interference with its path is allowed.
  • Hockey also has blocking, although there are some differences from basketball. In hockey, some body contact is permitted between the offensive and defensive players. In addition, the defensive players are allowed to touch the puck as it moves. The goalie may catch the puck, but is not allowed to hold onto it for more than three seconds.
  • Football represents the most layered example of blocking. The offensive team members will block defensive players who are trying to tackle the ball carrier. There is a line of players between the defense and the quarterback whose role is to interfere with the attack on the quarterback. Once a pass is thrown, the goal of the defense is to block the reception of the ball by getting in the way of the receiver (no body contact is allowed) and possibly intercepting the pass.
  • Watch a video about electron shielding at the link below:


What Do You Think?

Use the links below to learn more about electron shielding. Then answer the following questions.

  1. What is the trend in electron shielding within a group?
  2. What is the effective nuclear charge on an electron?
  3. What are we actually determining in the calculation of Zeff?
  4. Why do s electrons have greater shielding power than p electrons?

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: PhilyG; Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Large_Outdoor_Concert.jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: ?; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alpha600/4432694841/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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