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Question 1E.7 asks to determine whether each of the following electron configurations represents the ground state or an excited state of the atom given. The question gives diagrams of the four electron configurations. I was wondering how do you distinguish between a ground state and an excited state of an atom?
The excited state of an atom is going to be a state where the electrons are arranged in a way that is not energy efficient meaning the only way it is possible is if there is extra energy present. For example, in part A of 1E.7 this represents an excited state of carbon because the last electron should be in 2Py by itself not paired with the electron already in 2Px this pairing and it being paired requires extra energy only acquired in an excited state.
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