# Question #5ca00

Jan 25, 2015

Before actually drawing an orbital for an element, I suggest writing its electron configuration, since this will help you know exactly what orbitals you are dealing with.

You can do this using the periodic table because the total number of electrons a neutral atom has will equal its atomic number.

So, let's say you have to draw the orbitals that hold the valence electrons of chlorine, $\text{Cl}$.

As you would see, chlorine is in group 17 of the periodic table and it has an atomic number of 17, which means that its electron configuration must account for 17 electrons.

$\text{Cl} : 1 {s}^{2} 2 {s}^{2} 2 {p}^{6} 3 {s}^{2} 3 {p}^{5}$

This shows you that chlorine's valence electrons are in the 3p-orbitals. For the actual drawing process, I'll redirect you to another answer on this topic:

http://socratic.org/questions/how-do-you-draw-spdf-orbitals