This post will explore more on electronic configuration and introduce spdf notation as part of the Prelim Chemistry course.
Drawing Electron Configuration Diagrams
This follows on from the last post, this video will take you through drawing configuration diagrams for electrons.
Introducing spdf Notation
In the last post, Schrodinger’s Model was mentioned. This model depicts that electrons are constantly moving and do not stay fixed as in Bohr’s model. This model also defines discrete energy levels but as a probability function for where electrons are likely to be found, this is called an orbital also known as sublevels. Main things to take away about orbitals are that:
- There are different orbital shapes (s,p,d,f)
- Each orbital can only hold 2 electrons max
- There is a hierarchy, i.e. s orbitals will be filled before p orbitals which will be filled before d orbitals and so on. (s<p<d<f) (note, this is a general rule but there are exceptions)
- When you ascend to a new energy level, pre-existing orbitals will stay with the element but the sublevels for that principal energy level will restart at s (e.g. Helium has 1s2, Lithium has 1s2 2s1, Magnesium has 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2)
If you don’t understand, don’t worry, have a look at these videos below and then see if you can make sense of what was written above. Make sure to do a lot of practice questions, this notation can be quite hard to grasp initially.
Have a look at this video if you are still confused, there are some good examples to go through as well.
Want to learn more? Check out more of our Preliminary Chemistry resources here!