Electrons in atoms

By J, Electron Configuration and Orbital Notation page 6

Electrons in Atoms (e-)

The information below will be a step by step guide on how to find or write the electron configurations and how to write the Orbital notation of elements.

Electron configuration

electron configuration is the distribution of electrons of an atom or molecule in atomic or molecular orbitals. For example, the electron configuration of the neon atom is 1s2 2s2 2p6.

Steps to writing and finding the electron configuration


  1. Find how many electrons are in an atom
  2. Determine the principal energy level (n) of the atom
  3. Determine the number of sub-levels
  4. Assign electrons to the sub-levels following the three rules (Aufbau, Pauli exclusion, and Hund's)
  5. Write the complete electron configuration
  6. Follow the arrows diagonally
  7. loop back up to the next diagonal row and continue the method

Orbital Notation

Orbital notation is another way of expressing the electron configuration of an atom. It is useful in determining quantum numbers as well as electron pairing

Orbital Notation

  1. S level (holds 2)
  2. P level (holds 6)
  3. D Level (holds10)
  4. F level (holds14)
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Orbital notation guide

School bus theory". In this theory he stated that Electrons will fill up the empty orbitals before pairing up with each other which produces more stability within the atom. However each sub level has a certain amount of orbitals.