Day: July 2, 2016

Intro to electron configuration

Intro to electron configuration

Intro to electron configuration


“How can we find out how much free space an atoms has for electrons?”

All atoms have the potential to have electrons. However, how can we find out how many electrons an atoms has and how much it can hold? To solve this question, let’s start off with one fact. All electrons revolve around the nucleus. Because there is a mutual interaction between the two particles, there will be a certain level of energy associated with the two particles that binds them together. Furthermore, as a consequence of the laws of quantum mechanics, all energy levels are in discrete forms.  When the electron receives enough energy to surpass the binding energy, they will jump to the next possible level. The energy required to surpass the binding force is called the ionization energy and the different levels are called valence shells. As a result of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, these electrons will have different possibilities of location within these valence shells, and that probability depends on the amount of electrons inside. These probabilistic locations are called orbitals. Chemists have termed these series of classifications to be the electron configuration of the system.