To predict the magnetic properties of atoms and also molecules based upon their digital configurations.

You are watching: Is boron diamagnetic or paramagnetic? why?

The magnetic moment of a mechanism steps the stamina and the direction of its magnetism. The term itself normally refers to the magnetic dipole moment. Anything that is magnetic, prefer a bar magnet or a loop of electric present, has a magnetic moment. A magnetic moment is a vector amount, with a magnitude and also a direction. An electron has an electron magnetic dipole minute, created by the electron"s intrinsic spin residential or commercial property, making it an electric charge in motion. There are many various magnetic forms: consisting of paramagnetism, and also diamagnetism, ferromagnetism, and anti-ferromagnetism. Only paramagnetism, and also diamagnetism are debated right here.


Paramagnetism describes the magnetic state of an atom via one or more unpaired electrons. The unpaired electrons are attracted by a magnetic field due to the electrons" magnetic dipole moments. Hund"s Rule says that electrons must occupy eexceptionally orbital singly prior to any type of orbital is doubly occupied. This might leave the atom with many type of unpaired electrons. Since unpaired electrons can orient in either direction, they exhibit magnetic moments that have the right to align with a magnet. This capcapability allows paramagnetic atoms to be attracted to magnetic areas. Diatomic oxygen, (O_2) is an excellent instance of paramagnetism (that is ideal understood through molecular orbital theory). The following video reflects liquid oxygen attracted right into a magnetic area produced by a solid magnet:

Video (PageIndex1): A jiyuushikan.orgical demonstration of the paramagnetism of molecular oxygen, as displayed by the attraction of liquid oxygen to magnets.

As displayed in Video (PageIndex1), given that molecular oxygen ((O_2) is paramagnetic, it is attracted to the magnet. In contrast, molecular nitrogen, (N_2), has no unpaired electrons and it is diamagnetic (questioned below); it is therefore unimpacted by the magnet.


Paramagnetism is a kind of magnetism whereby products are attracted by an externally applied magnetic area.

Tright here are some exceptions to the paramagnetism rule; these worry some transition steels, in which the unpaired electron is not in a d-orbital. Examples of these metals encompass (Sc^3+), (Ti^4+), (Zn^2+), and also (Cu^+). These steels are the not defined as paramagnetic: they are considered diamagnetic bereason all d-electrons are paired. Paramagnetic compounds periodically display mass magnetic properties due to the clustering of the metal atoms. This phenomenon is recognized as ferromagnetism, yet this property is not disputed below.


Diamagnetic substances are identified by paired electrons—except in the previously-debated instance of transition metals, tright here are no unpaired electrons. According to the Pauli Exclusion Principle which says that no 2 similar electrons might take up the very same quantum state at the very same time, the electron spins are oriented in opposite directions. This causes the magnetic areas of the electrons to cancel out; therefore there is no net magnetic minute, and also the atom cannot be attracted into a magnetic area. In truth, diamagnetic substances are weakly repelled by a magnetic area as demonstrated through the pyrolytic carbon sheet in Figure (PageIndex1).

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Step 3: Look for unpaired electrons

Tright here is one unpaired electron.

Step 4: Determine whether the substance is paramagnetic or diamagnetic

Because tbelow is an unpaired electron, (Cl) atoms are paramagnetic (however weakly given that just one electron is unpaired).

Exercise (PageIndex1)

Indicate whether boron atoms are paramagnetic or diamagnetic.


The B atom has actually 2s22p1 as the electron configuration. Since it has actually one unpaired electron, it is paramagnetic.

Example (PageIndex2): Zinc Atoms

Are zinc atoms paramagnetic or diamagnetic?


Step 1: Find the electron configuration

For Zn atoms, the electron configuration is 4s23d10

Step 2: Draw the valence orbitals

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The F- ion has 2s22p6 has actually the electron configuration. Since it has actually no unpaired electrons, it is diamagnetic.