electron configuration

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Electron configuration

The orbital arrangement of an atom's electrons. Negatively charged electrons are attracted to a positively charged nucleus to form an atom or ion. Although such bound electrons exhibit a high degree of quantum-mechanical wavelike behavior, there still remain particle aspects to their motion. Bound electrons occupy orbitals that are somewhat concentrated in spatial shells lying at different distances from the nucleus. As the set of electron energies allowed by quantum mechanics is discrete, so is the set of mean shell radii. Both these quantized physical quantities are primarily specified by integral values of the principal, or total, quantum number n. The full electron configuration of an atom is correlated with a set of values for all the quantum numbers of each and every electron. In addition to n, another important quantum number is l, an integer representing the orbital angular momentum of an electron in units of h/2π, where h is Planck's constant. The values 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 for n and 0, 1, 2, 3 for l together suffice to describe the electron configurations of all known normal atoms and ions, that is, those that have their lowest possible values of total electronic energy. The first seven shells are also given the letter designations K, L, M, N, O, P, and Q respectively. Electrons with l equal to 0, 1, 2, and 3 are designated s, p, d, and f, respectively. See Quantum mechanics, Quantum numbers

In any configuration the number of equivalent electrons (same n and l) is indicated by an integral exponent (not a quantum number) attached to the letters s, p, d, and f. According to the Pauli exclusion principle, the maximum is s2, p6, d10, and f14. See Exclusion principle

An electron configuration is categorized as having even or odd parity, according to whether the sum of p and f electrons is even or odd. Strong spectral lines result only from transitions between configurations of unlike parity. See Parity (quantum mechanics)

Insofar as they are known from spectroscopic investigations, the electron configurations characteristic of the normal or ground states of the first 103 chemical elements are shown in the table.

In the next-to-last column of the table, the spectral term of the energy level with lowest total electronic energy is shown. The main part of the term symbol is a capital letter, S, P, D, F, and so on, that represents the total electronic orbital angular momentum. Attached to this is a superior prefix, 1, 2, 3, 4, and so on, that indicates the multiplicity, and an anterior suffix, 0, 12, 1, 32, 2, 52, and so on, that shows the total angular momentum, or J value, of the atom in the given state. A sign ° above the J value signifies that the spectral term and electron configuration have odd parity.

The last column of the table presents the first ionization potential of the atom, the energy required to remove from an atom its least firmly bound electron and transform a neutral atom into a singly charged ion. See Atomic structure and spectra, Ionization potential

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electron configuration

[i′lek‚trän kən‚fig·yə′rā·shən]
(atomic physics)
The orbital and spin arrangement of an atom's electrons, specifying the quantum numbers of the atom's electrons in a given state.
References in periodicals archive ?
Crystal field theory via gemstone color makes for a nearly perfect model to explain the transition metal d-orbital splitting phenomena in ceramic glaze color.
Through understanding d-orbital splitting of transition metals, metal oxidation states through firing, crystal field nature of the glaze base, and the corresponding color profiles of these systems, glazes can be better designed in the future and with less waste during formulation/testing.
These ferromagnetic results are related to multiferroic properties due to the oxygen vacancies at the surface in LiNb[O.sub.3] and [La.sub.0.05][Li.sub.0.85]Nb[O.sub.3] nanocrystals, and they can be explained by the d-orbital contribution according to the XPS results.
The magnetocapacitance effect is attributed to polarization of the d-orbital due to the ferroelectricmagnetic rich regions in response to the external magnetic field.
In the case of Zn-1MeIm, the d-orbital occupancy was the same ([approximately equal to]2), showing that the d-electrons were localized within the [Zn.sup.2+] d-orbitals [12].
Considering the importance of nickel, copper, and zinc ions in the structure and function of metalloproteins, this article investigates the effect of bonding on the energies of the d-orbitals of [Ni.sup.2+], [Cu.sup.2+], and [Zn.sup.2+] in tetrahedral ligand fields.
Since they are usually perfect, the corrosion inhibiting compounds should not only donate electrons to the metal d-orbital but also accept the e's from them through antibonding orbital to form feedback donation [8, 9].
1,3-Benzodioxole-5-acetic acid, methyl ester, is predicted by using INDO, MNDO, and MINDO/3 methods as the most effective molecule for metal protection via donating es to the vacation d-orbital in metal, while AM1 and PM3 methods have predicted 1,3-benzodioxole-4-methoxy-6(2-propenyl)--and 1,3-benzodioxole 5-ethenyl, respectively.
The inhibition of the corrosion has been proved to be the formation of donor-acceptor surface complexes between a vacant d-orbital of a metal and non-bonding electron pairs or p-electrons of an organic inhibitor, and nitrogenous compound is widely used.
The surface of s-orbital electron and d-orbital electrons of atom plays a key role in the hydrogen dissociation on the metals surface.
This suggests a new range of materials that may qualify for substitution, he says--those whose d-orbital is "nearly filled' instead of "nearly empty.'
Metalloproteins are, in fact, very abundant, and many of the biological metals have d-orbital electrons that consent them to experience different oxidation states.