# How many electrons occupy P orbitals in a chlorine atom?

Nov 8, 2015

$11$

#### Explanation:

Your tool of choice here will be chlorine's electron configuration.

Chlorine, $\text{Cl}$, is located in period 3, group 17 of the periodic table, and has an atomic number equal to $17$. This tells you that a neutral chlorine atom will have a total of $17$ electrons surrounding its nucleus.

Chlorine's electron configuration looks like this

$\text{Cl: } 1 {s}^{2} 2 {s}^{2} 2 {p}^{\textcolor{red}{6}} 3 {s}^{2} 3 {p}^{\textcolor{g r e e n}{5}}$

Now, notice that the first energy level doesn't not contain a p-subshell, and implicitly any p-orbitals.

The second energy level, on the other hand, contains two subshells, the 2s-subshell, which contains $2$ electrons, and the 2p-subshell, which contains three 2p-orbitals and a total of $\textcolor{red}{6}$ electrons, $2$ per orbital.

Finally, the third energy level contains two occupied subshells, the 3s-subshell, which once again contains $2$ electrons, and the 3p-subshell, which contains $\textcolor{g r e e n}{5}$ electrons.

Therefore, the number of electrons you get in p-orbitals will be equal to $11$

• 6 electrons in the 2p-subshell
• 5 electrons in the 3p-subshell