Question #822dc

Sep 6, 2016

The answer is (B) $2$ electrons.

Explanation:

Carbon, $\text{C}$, has an atomic number equal to $6$, which of course means that a neutral carbon atom has a total of $6$ electrons surrounding its nucleus.

Now, these electrons are distributed on two energy levels

• the first energy level holds two electrons
• the second energy level holds four electrons

Now, the first energy level contains one orbital, the $1 s$ orbital. The second energy level contains a total of four orbitals

• one s-orbital, the $2 s$ orbital, located in the $2 s$ subshell
• three p-orbitals, the $2 {p}_{x}$, $2 {p}_{y}$, and $2 {p}_{z}$ orbitals, lcoated in the $2 p$ subshell

As you know, an orbital can hold a maximum of two electrons. This means that if you distribute carbon's $6$ electrons according to th Aufbau Principle, you will get

$1 {s}^{2} \to$ two electrons occupy the $1 s$ orbital

$2 {s}^{2} \to$ two electrons occupy the $2 s$ orbital

$2 {p}^{2} \to$ two electrons occupy the $2 {p}_{x}$ and $2 {p}_{z}$ orbitals

Therefore, you can say that carbon has two electrons in its $2 p$ subshell.