Ground State vs. Excited State Question

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noelle_lipschutz_3F
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Ground State vs. Excited State Question

Postby noelle_lipschutz_3F » Sat Oct 31, 2020 9:49 am

I am working on the following problem: “Identify the neutral element represented by this excited-state electron configuration, then write the ground-state electron configuration for that element. Excited State: 1s2 2s2 2p2 3s1. Can someone explain the difference between ground state and excited state?

Quinton Sprague 1A
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Re: Ground State vs. Excited State Question

Postby Quinton Sprague 1A » Sat Oct 31, 2020 10:09 am

Hi, I believe the main difference between the ground and excited state is that the ground is representative of the configuration with the lowest energy and most stable environment, while the excited state represents the configuration with a higher energy arrangement. Because of this, I think the ground state would fill the 2p orbital as much as possible, therefore the configuration would change to 1s2 2s2 2p3. When excited, Nitrogen has an electron configuration of 1s2 2s2 2p2 3s.

Olivia Monroy 1A
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Re: Ground State vs. Excited State Question

Postby Olivia Monroy 1A » Sat Oct 31, 2020 11:19 am

Ground state would be the lowest energy state, so filling the previous orbital to 2p3 rather than 2p2 3s1. N is the element for the excited state given.

ALee_1J
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Re: Ground State vs. Excited State Question

Postby ALee_1J » Sat Oct 31, 2020 11:24 am

Ground state is when the electrons are all in the configuration you would expect them to be in (ie. carbon would be 1s22s22p2). Like you could accurately find the electron configuration just by looking at its position. The excited configuration is a bit different since the electron configuration doesn't correlate with its position on the periodic table.

If you take the problem you are doing right now, "Excited State: 1s2 2s2 2p2 3s1", it's easy to see that this is not the ground state because the 3s orbital is already being filled when the 2p orbital is still empty. Normally, you would have to have 6 electron fill up the 2p orbital before you move to the 3s orbital, thus in this problem and in future problems, when you see that a subsequent orbital has been filled when the previous orbital is still empty, you can identify the excited state electron configuration of an element. In this problem, because the 2p orbital would be filled up before the 3s orbital in ground state, the 3s1 electron would go back down to the 2p orbital making the configuration 1s2 2s2 2p3 which is nitrogen.

Karina Grover 1A
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Re: Ground State vs. Excited State Question

Postby Karina Grover 1A » Sat Oct 31, 2020 11:50 am

The ground state configuration displays the lowest energy state that an atom can occupy and often describes an atom in its most stable state. The excited state configuration occurs when one or more of the electrons move to a higher energy state than the one(s) occupied in the ground state configuration.

Minahil_Tufail_3I
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Re: Ground State vs. Excited State Question

Postby Minahil_Tufail_3I » Sat Oct 31, 2020 12:11 pm

The ground state refers to the electron configuration we find based off of looking at its placement on the periodic table, and it also represents the lowest energy state of the electron. As for the excited state, this means at least one valence electron has moved to a higher energy level, increasing the energy state overall.

Chinyere Okeke 2J
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Re: Ground State vs. Excited State Question

Postby Chinyere Okeke 2J » Sat Oct 31, 2020 5:22 pm

I was confused about this too haha. The ground state is usually when the electrons fill all the shells from lowest energy to highest energy so as you can see in this example of the excited state an electron is in the 3s orbital when the 2p orbital isn't filled.

Hope that helped!

Gian Boco 2G
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Re: Ground State vs. Excited State Question

Postby Gian Boco 2G » Sun Nov 01, 2020 4:50 pm

This post really helped me a lot! The way I tend to look at it is as if an electron isn't where it's supposed to be because in the configuration, it appears as if an energy level has been skipped, which is kind of what the electron does during its excited state.

Brandon McClelland3L
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Re: Ground State vs. Excited State Question

Postby Brandon McClelland3L » Sun Nov 01, 2020 5:10 pm

In the ground state, I think the atom will have as many electrons in low energy orbitals as possible, while in the excited state some electrons will be in higher energy orbitals. In this case, the electron in 3s is probably normally in 2p.


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