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Why are the last two orbitals shown in some cases (in lecture it's written Sc: [Ar]3d^1,4s2) rather than just the last orbital (4S^2)? Isn't it only really important to know how many unpaired electrons are in the outermost shell?
I think any time you do a noble gas configuration, you have to write out everything after the previous noble gas, including the electrons in subshells that don't have valence electrons.
In your example, the electron in the 3d orbital can act as a valence electron and determine how the element reacts, which is why it is important to include it in the noble gas configuration.
Catherine Bubser 2C wrote:Does is matter the order in which these orbitals are written as long as the n number are in order?
It does matter the order in which they are written because different orbitals have different energy levels so electron configuration should be arrange in a specific order.
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