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Orbital Diagrams and Electron Configuration Notations

  1. Nov 8, 2005 #1


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    I used to understand this -- a few years ago -- but it has completely slipped my mind. What is going on with al this 1s2 and Like Cs[Xe]6s1?

    Thanks a lot,
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 8, 2005 #2
    Principal quantum number, angular momentum quantum number and the number of electrons on the orbital specified by n and l. [Xe]6s1 means that you have the closed shell structure of Xenon and one electron in the n=6, l=0 state or in other words Cesium.
  4. Nov 8, 2005 #3


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    It is all a way of categorizing where the electrons are around the atom, putting them into "Shells", "SubShells", and "Orbitals".


    Every electron around an atom has 4 quantum numbers, n (the principle quantum number), l (for angular momentum), m sub l (for its atomic orbital), and m sub s (the spin, either + or - 1/2).
    No two electrons can have the exact same 4 quantium numbers.

    The [Xe] is a shorthand notation, meaning that the electron configuration is the same as Xenon's up to that point, and then it contunues with a 6s1, to make it have an electron configuration of Cessium
  5. Nov 8, 2005 #4


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    Thank you very much for the replies, how can you write the electron configuration notation using only a periodic table?
  6. Nov 8, 2005 #5
    This site has a nice visual for this.

    http://www.matter-antimatter.com/electronic_configurations.htm [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  7. Nov 9, 2005 #6


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    Usually you don't. Not entirely correctly, that is. There are some exceptions from the "normal" behavior of shell filling with electrons. Vanadium, copper, zinc, silver, paladium, hydrargirum...and a lot among the lantanoids & actinoids.

  8. Nov 9, 2005 #7
    If you want an explaination for what dexitroby( Sorry for misspelling) said I started a thread about the stability of electron orbitals, in atoms, moloceuls, and solids. Towards the end Gukul( Sorry potential misspelling) explained why transition metals fill up differently. The thread is towards the bottom and titled 'Stability of a full valence shell' or something like that. Hopefully this will help a little bit. I am sorry that I was too stupid to know how to create a link.
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