Problem: In a many-electron atom, can we predict unambiguously whether the 4s orbital is lower or higher in energy than the 3d orbitals?

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  • Recall that for a one-electron hydrogen atom, orbitals on the same energy level have the same energy. These orbitals are called degenerate orbitals

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In a many-electron atom, can we predict unambiguously whether the 4s orbital is lower or higher in energy than the 3d orbitals?

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