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Homework Help: Electron Configuration of Large Atoms

  1. Jan 4, 2009 #1
    I've read a good few different explanations and learned about electron configurations in school but I still don't understand how to write the electron configuration for a big atom like Copper. Heres how I would write it
    First off he told me 3D didn't even belong there. I'm thinking he might mean because the 3D orbital is an exception and actually appears after 4S. I didn't think he'd expect us to know that though he never taught us that.

    Second thing I don't get is how many electrons go into a D orbital and why D orbitals don't effect the octet rule of chemical bonds. Is it only P orbital electrons that are involved in bonding or something?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 5, 2009 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Not S, P, D but s, p, d.

    Order matters - we list orbitals in the order they are filled, and 4s is filled before 3d. Google for Aufbau principle.

    Number of electrons per orbital is given by quantum numbers. 2 for s, 6 for p, 10 for d and 14 for f.
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