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Why is the expected electron configuration for chromium different from the observed electron configuration? The expected configuration is [Ar]4s2,3d4 and the observed configuration is [Ar]4s1,3d5.
Chromium acts like an exception in the sense that 3d5 is a more stable configuration than 3d4, the reason being that an exactly half filled sub-shell is partially full is more stable than a partially sub-shell. As a result, an electron from the 4s orbital is excited and rises to the 3d orbital.
For similar reasons, Copper is also an exception to that normal electron configuration rule. Its electron configuration is [Ar]4s1,3d10. A completely filled sub-shell will be more stable than a partially filled one.
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