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Electron Configuration A Brief Look

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Chemistry 112Chapter 5

Electron ConfigurationA Brief Look

Mr. McIsaac

Carleton North High School

- Electrons travel around the nucleus at certain distances, called energy levels.
- Inside each energy level, there are sublevels; the number of sublevels is equal the number of the energy level:
- 1st energy level has 1 sublevel (s)
- 2nd energy level has 2 sublevels (s, p)
- 3rd energy level has 3 sublevels (s, p, d)
- 4th energy level has 4 sublevels (s, p, d, f)
- 5th energy level has 5 sublevels (s, p, d, f, g)

- Inside each sublevel, there are orbitals –specific regions/areas inside the e cloud where individual e’s exist.
- An orbital may be empty, or may hold 1 or 2 e’s. Any orbital can hold a maximum of 2 e’s.
- An outer level (valence level) can hold a maximum of 8 e’s. So, an outer level has a maximum of 4 orbitals.

- Stated another way, an outer level has a maximum of 2 sublevels (s, p).
- An s sublevel has 1 orbital; a p sublevel has 3 orbitals. Total = 4 orbitals = 8 e’s (2 per orbital).
- Valence electrons exist in these outer 4 orbitals.