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Hi, how detailed should the electron configurations be? Can we always apply shorthand parentheses like [Ar] 3s^2? For p sublevels do we need to notify the x, y and z orbitals when writing the configurations (eg. 2px^2 2py^1 2pz^1)?
I believe that the short hand is usually acceptable, as it saves you time from having to write out the entire configuration. As for the p sub-levels, I think professor Lavelle had said that it isn't required to notify x,y,z specifically, but you can if you would like.
The only time where it might be better to write out more of the electron configuration is when it is a noble gas itself or a cation or anion that end up having the same configuration as a noble gas such as O^-2.
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