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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013, Article ID 157412, 10 pages
Review Article

Methods of Calculating Ionization Energies of Multielectron (Five or More) Isoelectronic Atomic Ions

Birkbeck College, University of London, School of Sciences, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX, UK

Received 21 March 2013; Accepted 18 April 2013

Academic Editors: A. Avramopoulos and Y. Luo

Copyright © 2013 Peter F. Lang and Barry C. Smith. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We have previously used simple empirical equations to reproduce the literature values of the ionization energies of isoelectronic sequences of up to four electrons which gave very good agreement. We reproduce here a kinetic energy expression with corrections for relativity and Lamb shift effects which give excellent agreement with the literature values. These equations become more complex as the number of electrons in the system increases. Alternative simple quadratic expressions for calculating ionization energies of multielectron ions are discussed. A set of coefficients when substituted into a simple expression produces very good agreement with the literature values. Our work shows that Slater's rules are not appropriate for predicting trends or screening constants. This work provides very strong evidence that ionization energies are not functions of complete squares, and when calculating ionization energies electron transition/relaxation has to be taken into account. We demonstrate clearly that for particular isoelectronic sequences, the ionizing electrons may occupy different orbitals and in such cases more than one set of constants are needed to calculate the ionization energies.