Electron Configuration Orders?

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KC Navarro_1H
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:04 am

Electron Configuration Orders?

Postby KC Navarro_1H » Tue May 01, 2018 12:45 pm

When doing electron configuration, do you have to keep the same n-values together?

For example, I wrote the electron configuration for antimony (Sb) as:

1s^2 2s^2 2p^6 3s^2 3p^6 4s^2 3d^10 4p^6 5s^2 4d^10 5p^3

Or [Kr] 5s^2 4d^10 5p^3

Would it be different if I grouped it by n-values? Like:

1s^2 2s^2 2p^6 3s^2 3p^6 3d^10 4s^2 4p^6 4d^10 5s^2 5p^3

Or [Kr] 4d^10 5s^2 5p^3

If they aren't different, which one is preferred? Thank you!

Bryan Jiang 1F
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:03 am

Re: Electron Configuration Orders?

Postby Bryan Jiang 1F » Tue May 01, 2018 1:16 pm

Even though the same information about the electron configuration is displayed by both of those ways, one should still order the electron groupings by n-values first to denote the fact that the shells are the primary differences in energy levels. Dr. Lavelle mentions this preference for n-value order near the end of Week 4 Friday lecture with the example that ground state scandium, Sc should be written as [Ar] 3d¹ 4s², NOT as [Ar] 4s² 3d¹.

Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:03 am

Re: Electron Configuration Orders?

Postby joannehaddad » Sun May 06, 2018 4:10 pm

To double check your answer, make sure that your configuration is written in the order of the n - value, so all the sub-shells associated with 3 are put before any of the sub-shells associated with 4, for example.

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