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Copper electron distribution

  1. Feb 20, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    I'm a complete chemistry novice, just on chapter 1 of my book here.

    I am tasked with writing down the electron configuration of Copper, atom number 29.

    2. Relevant equations

    I've got my orbital chart here. 29 electrons to fill in.

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I go with:

    1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s2 3d9

    On my chart, and I am sorry if I am making a mess of the terms of chemistry here, it shows 4s filling up before electrons fill up 3d.

    And this is correct according to my school book.

    So I try to draw it using the normal onion layer model.


    Then I got wikipedia, and it shows this picture:



    Is my book wrong? Am I wrong? Is wikipedia wrong here?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 20, 2013 #2


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    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    Those metals can look differently - as Wikipedia has a list of those exceptions, I would expect that 4s1 3d10 is right.
  4. Feb 20, 2013 #3
    Oh wow. Ok. Thanks!
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