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When writing electron configuration, should the d orbital electrons of lower energy come before the s and p orbital electrons of higher energy? For example, in the electron configuration for gallium, should the configuration be [Ar]3d^10 4s^2 4p^1 or [Ar]4s^2 3d^10 4p^1 ?
Yes this is correct. The 3d will be written before the 4s and 4p because principal quantum number n=3 is lower energy than principal quantum number n=4, and it is standard to write it in order of increasing energy.
I asked my TA about this. She says that either way is correct, but that Dr. Lavelle has a specific reason for listing off the 3d10 before the 4s2 and 4p6 orbitals. So yeah just do it the way Dr. Lavelle has been doing it.
I read in the textbook that generally for elements with an atomic number of 20 or above, they begin listing the electron configuration in simple numerical order instead of having configurations where 4s comes before 3d
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