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Electron Configuration

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Matthew Lane

on 30 April 2013

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Transcript of Electron Configuration

Electron Configuration: How are electrons arranged in atoms? Atoms are mostly empty space! The nucleus of an atom contains protons and neutrons A proton has a positive charge and a neutron is neutral (no charge) Each proton and neutron has a mass of 1 AMU All of an atom's mass is contained within the nucleus Where are the electrons? Most people picture atoms like this...

With electrons obit the nucleus like planets
orbit the sun

But this is not accurate Electrons are actually found in the electron cloud:

Electron Cloud: negatively charged area surrounding a nucleus where electrons are most likely to be found

We cannot calculate where an electron will be at a certain time Where are the electrons? Even though we cannot tell exactly where an electron will be there are places they will probably be

Electrons move around in fairly predictable patterns called energy levels, but they still move randomly

Each energy level is like a new layer of the atom with its own distance from the nucleus Atoms have different numbers of electrons so the structure of their energy levels may be a little different

But all atoms follow the same rules about how their energy levels fill up and how electrons can change energy levels What are energy levels? Energy levels increase as you move away from the nucleus

Energy levels may look like orbitals but they aren't

Electrons can move from one energy level to another by gaining or loosing energy Electrons stuck in the first energy level don't have enough energy to escape the pull of the nucleus

If one of those electrons gains energy it can escape to one of the higher energy levels

The more energy an electron has the higher its energy level How Many Electrons
are there? Each energy level has a specific amount of electrons it can hold until it is full

The higher the energy level the more electrons it can hold Electrons will not go into the higher energy levels until the lower ones are filled

The outer most energy level is called the valence level

Atoms want their outer levels filled. If it is not they will bond with another atom to fill it Electrons on the Periodic Table The Periodic Table can tell us a lot about the electrons inside atoms

The atomic number tells us the number of protons, but in neutral atoms it is also the number of electrons Different periods on the table represent different energy levels inside the atoms

Period 1 has 2 elements... energy level 1
needs 2 electrons before it is full

Period 2 has 8 elements... energy level 2
needs 8 electrons before it is full

We can use the table to figure out how full energy levels are Electrons on the Periodic Table Atoms are stable when their outer energy level is full

If an atom's outer layer is not full it will bond with another atoms so both of them become stable

The periodic table can show us which atoms will bond By looking at the group on the periodic table you can figure out how many valence electrons each family has

Only works for groups 1, 2, and 13-18

Just Use the last digit of the
group number to find the number
of valence electrons.

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