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Electron configuration

The energy of electrons

You will remember from our earlier discussions that an atom is made up of a central nucleus, which contains protons and neutrons and that this nucleus is surrounded by electrons. Although these electrons all have the same charge and the same mass, each electron in an atom has a different amount of energy . Electrons that have the lowest energy are found closest to the nucleus where the attractive force of the positively charged nucleus is the greatest. Those electrons that have higher energy, and which are able to overcome the attractive force of the nucleus, are found further away.

Electron configuration

We will start with a very simple view of the arrangement or configuration of electrons around an atom. This view simply states that electrons are arranged in energy levels (or shells) around the nucleus of an atom. These energy levels are numbered 1, 2, 3, etc. Electrons that are in the first energy level (energy level 1) are closest to the nucleus and will have the lowest energy. Electrons further away from the nucleus will have a higher energy.

In the following examples, the energy levels are shown as concentric circles around the central nucleus. The important thing to know for these diagrams is that the first energy level can hold 2 electrons, the second energy level can hold 8 electrons and the third energy level can hold 8 electrons.

  1. Lithium Lithium (Li) has an atomic number of 3, meaning that in a neutral atom, the number of electrons will also be 3. The first two electrons are found in the first energy level, while the third electron is found in the second energy level ( [link] ).
    The arrangement of electrons in a lithium atom.
  2. Fluorine Fluorine ( F ) has an atomic number of 9, meaning that a neutral atom also has 9 electrons. The first 2 electrons are found in the first energy level, while the other 7 are found in the second energy level ( [link] ).
    The arrangement of electrons in a fluorine atom.
  3. Argon Argon has an atomic number of 18, meaning that a neutral atom also has 18 electrons. The first 2 electrons are found in the first energy level, the next 8 are found in the second energy level, and the last 8 are found in the third energy level ( [link] ).
    The arrangement of electrons in an argon atom.

But the situation is slightly more complicated than this. Within each energy level, the electrons move in orbitals . An orbital defines the spaces or regions where electrons move.

Atomic orbital

An atomic orbital is the region in which an electron may be found around a single atom.

The first energy level contains only one 's' orbital, the second energy level contains one 's' orbital and three 'p' orbitals and the third energy level contains one 's' orbital and three 'p' orbitals (as well as 5 'd' orbitals). Within each energy level, the 's' orbital is at a lower energy than the 'p' orbitals. This arrangement is shown in [link] .

The positions of the first ten orbitals of an atom on an energy diagram. Note that each block is able to hold two electrons.

Questions & Answers

how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
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s. Reply
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Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
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Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
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so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
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s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
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Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
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what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
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Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
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In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
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after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
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this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
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Prasenjit Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
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The fundamental frequency of a sonometer wire streached by a load of relative density 's'are n¹ and n² when the load is in air and completly immersed in water respectively then the lation n²/na is
Mukesh Reply
Properties of longitudinal waves
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Source:  OpenStax, Siyavula textbooks: grade 10 physical science [caps]. OpenStax CNX. Sep 30, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11305/1.7
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