What is the energy level and sublevel in which a neutral sodium atom's valence electron is found?
The valence electron of a neutral sodium atom in its ground state is in the
Sodium has an atomic number of 11, which is the number of protons in the nuclei of its atoms. A neutral sodium atom also has 11 electrons.
The electron configuration of a neutral sodium atom is
For the atoms of the representative elements (all elements except for the inner and outer transition metals), their valence electrons are in their outermost (highest energy)
Therefore, the valence electron of a neutral sodium atom in its ground state is in its
Sodium has one electron on the 3s sublevel.
The question wants you to determine the energy level and sublevel on which sodium's valence electron can be found.
Notice that you are given sodium's atomic number, which tells you how many protons it has in its nucleus,
You know that a neutral sodium atom must have equal numbers of protons in the nucleus and electrons surrounding the nucleus.
This means that sodium has a total of
#"Na: " 1s^2 2s^2 2p^6 color(red)(3)s^1#
Now, notice that sodium's electron configuration shows
- 2 electrons in the 1s sublevel
- 2 electrons in the 2s sublevel
- 6 electrons in the 2p sublevel
- 1 electron in the 3s sublevel
Therefore, sodium has one electron on its 3s sublevel, which is a part of the third energy level.