# Electron Configuration - Notation Clarification

• ract
In summary, the conversation discusses the confusion surrounding electron orbitals, specifically the sub-shells s, p, d, and f. The question is raised about the location of the other two electrons in the s and p shells, and the purpose of the 2s shell. The illustrations in the Periodic Table are also mentioned. A link to an article is provided, and the concept of overlapping orbitals is discussed. It is emphasized that the labels for wavefunctions should not be interpreted geometrically.
ract
Warm greetings,

My confusion surronds Electron-orbitals...

My text describes the sub-shells s, p, d, and f. If s shell has 2 electrons in spherical orbit, and p shell 6 electrons in 3 lobed orbitals, where on Earth are the other 2 electrons that complete the orbital shell of Neon? What is the '2s' shell? And why do all illustrations of the elements in the Periodic Table show 2 initial electrons surrounded by 8, that's eight, electrons in one shell!?

2s is also "spherical" (isotropic). just as 1s (and every other s orbital).

The illustrations are referring to the number of electrons that share the same principal quantum number n (2 for n=1 etc)

Thanks

Is the 2s a sperical orbit overlayed/ontop of the initial 1s spherical orbit, or does it somehow add to a 1s orbit leading to a larger sphere?

Can anyone point me in the direction of an article that might answer my query, and provide evidence for this structure?

Thanks

ract said:
Thanks

Is the 2s a sperical orbit overlayed/ontop of the initial 1s spherical orbit, or does it somehow add to a 1s orbit leading to a larger sphere?

No, the 1s and 2s orbitals are orthogonal; i.e. they do not overlap.

It is worth keeping in mind here that 1s, 2s etc are "labels" for wavefunctions (and often depicted in k-space) . You have to be VERY careful when interpreting them geometrically in real space (s is isotropic and p polar, everything else is just very complicated).

## What is electron configuration?

Electron configuration refers to the arrangement of electrons in an atom or molecule. It is a shorthand notation that shows the distribution of electrons in different energy levels and orbitals.

## What is the purpose of electron configuration?

The purpose of electron configuration is to provide a systematic way to represent the distribution of electrons in an atom. It helps to understand the properties and behavior of elements, as well as their chemical reactivity.

## What is the notation used for electron configuration?

The notation used for electron configuration is a combination of numbers, letters, and superscripts. The numbers represent the energy level or shell, the letters represent the type of subshell (s, p, d, f), and the superscripts represent the number of electrons in that subshell.

## What is the difference between long and short notation in electron configuration?

The long notation of electron configuration shows all the orbitals and subshells in an atom, while the short notation only shows the outermost energy level and the number of electrons in each subshell. The short notation is more commonly used as it is more concise and easier to read.

## How do you write electron configuration for ions?

When writing electron configuration for ions, the number of electrons is adjusted according to the ion's charge. For cations (positive ions), electrons are subtracted from the highest energy level first. For anions (negative ions), electrons are added to the highest energy level first. The resulting electron configuration should have a noble gas configuration as its core.

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