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What is electronic configuration?

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Fayanne Cui

on 13 March 2014

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Transcript of What is electronic configuration?

What is
electronic configuration?

Don't be frightened by the big words!
It's quite simple!

Basically it's a numeric representation of electron orbitals

and of how the electrons are arranged in an atom.
So, how are
they used?

To show chemical reactions and bonding

To represent which energy level, subshell, and orbital are occupied by electrons in any particular atom
And what does that mean?
Scientists can:

Predict what type of bonding will occur in a specific element.

Electron Configuration

A concise representation of chemical reactions in bonding.

So basically something like:

This is the configuration for oxygen.
To show why certain elements behave in a particular way.
Ionic Bonding
Covalent Bonding
So that involves chemical behaviour or element reactivity.

Different reactions are based on the element's placement on the periodic table.

Space around an atom's nucleus where an electron is likely to be found
- four types (sharp (s), principle (p), diffuse (d), fundamental (f))
- shell one has only s orbitals
- shell two has only s and p orbitals
- shell three has s, p and d orbitals
- shell four has all four types.
energy level
number of electrons
First two electrons fill the 1s orbital
Next two electrons fill the 2s orbital
Last four electrons fill the 4p orbital
Electron Configuration
So, how do I write my own configuration?
Step 1:
Find atom's atomic number, thus finding number of electrons

e.g Chlorine
Atomic Number - 17
Number of electrons - 17
Step 2:
List of electron orbital set numbers:

The s orbital set can hold 2 electrons.
The p orbital set can hold 6 electrons.
The d orbital set can hold 10 electrons.
The f orbital set can hold 14 electrons.

Step 3:
Order of orbital size (smallest to largest)

1s, 2s, 2p, 3s, 3p, 4s, 3d, 4p, 5s, 4d, 5p, 6s, 4f, 5d, 6p, 7s, 5f, 6d, 7p, 8s

Orbitals fill up from smallest to largest, lowest energy level must be full before you can move onto next orbital.
Step 4:
Fill in orbitals according to the number of electrons in your element's atom.

e.g Chlorine
17 electrons
configuration =
That's all,

Have I lost you yet?
Don't fear,

the end is near
Quick Trivia
Ununoctium has the largest atomic number on the periodic table as of yet.

Its electron configuration is crazy - uses up every electron of every orbital of every shell

And why do
we need this?

Remember this?

Well, without it

you'd have

an energy level diagram
Full transcript