Tips and Tricks

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Melissa Villanueva1K
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Tips and Tricks

Postby Melissa Villanueva1K » Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:20 am

I was wondering if there are any tips or tricks when it comes to memorizing or being able to know the electron configuration of an element. That goes along with the elements orbital drawing and so forth. Thanks!

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Re: Tips and Tricks

Postby Chem_Mod » Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:26 am

Essentially, the way the periodic table is arranged embodies an order by which you "add" electrons to get from one element to the next. Electrons increase in elements as protons do, which is from left to right and from top to bottom on the periodic table. Therefore, the element with the fewest electrons would be in the top left-hand corner of the table and the element with the most electrons would be in the bottom right hand corner. We categorize electrons according to what orbital level in which they reside. The four orbitals are s, p, d, and f. The diagonal rule is a guideline explaining the order in which electrons fill the orbital levels (from lowest energy to highest energy). The 1s2 orbital is always filled first, and it can contain 2 electrons. Then the 2s2 level is filled, which can also hold 2 electrons. After that, electrons begin to fill the 2p6 orbital, and it continues. The diagonal rule provides a rule stating the exact order in which these orbitals are filled, and looks like this:
Image
As you can see, the red arrows indicate the filling of orbital levels. Starting at the top, the first red arrow crosses the 1s2 orbital. If you follow these arrows down the list, you can easily determine the order that electrons fill the orbital levels. If you look at Dr. Lavelle's periodic table, it depicts the electron configurations for each element. Go through them, and see if they make sense.

In terms of orbital drawing, you will have to practice and memorize the different shapes (for example, s orbitals are spherical, whereas p orbitals are dumbbell-shaped).

Kevin ODonnell 2B
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Re: Tips and Tricks

Postby Kevin ODonnell 2B » Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:29 am

Thank you! That makes a lot more sense and will definitely come in handy! I was wondering the same thing.

Ester Garcia 1F
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Re: Tips and Tricks

Postby Ester Garcia 1F » Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:57 am

Another tip in memorizing the orbital drawings is that anything like dxz, dyz, dxy, etc have the lobes on the planes while drawings like dx^2y^2, dz^2, etc has the lobes on the axis. Of course, f orbitals are more complicated however I'm pretty sure there will not be a question asking for f-orbital drawings.

Melissa Villanueva1K
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Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:01 am

Re: Tips and Tricks

Postby Melissa Villanueva1K » Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:09 pm

Awesome! Thanks so much, this was extremely helpful.


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