Student Exploration: Electron Configuration
Vocabulary: atomic number, atomic radius, Aufbau principle, chemical family, diagonal rule, electron configuration, Hund’s rule, orbital, Pauli exclusion principle, period, shell, spin, subshell
Prior Knowledge Questions (Do these BEFORE using the Gizmo.)
Elvis Perkins, a rather shy fellow, is getting on the bus shown at right. Which seat do you think he will probably sit in? Mark this seat with an “E.”
Marta Warren gets on the bus after Elvis. She is tired after a long day at work. Where do you think she will sit? Mark this seat with an “M.”
In your experience, do strangers getting on a bus like to sit with other people if there is an empty seat available?
Just like passengers getting on a bus, electrons orbit the nuclei of atoms in particular patterns. You will discover these patterns (and how electrons sometimes act like passengers boarding a bus) with the Electron Configuration Gizmo™.
To begin, check that Lithium is selected on the PERIODIC TABLE tab.
The atomic number is equal to the number of protons in an atom.
How many protons are in a lithium atom?
A neutral atom has the same number of electrons and protons.
How many electrons are in a neutral lithium atom?
Select the ELECTRON CONFIGURATION tab. Click twice in the 1s box at upper left and once in the 2s box. Observe the atom model on the right.
What do you see?.
Click Check. Is this electron configuration correct?