What are some common mistakes students make with electron configurations?

1 Answer
Dec 19, 2016

Getting the energy levels (the subshells) in the wrong order - especially when #d#-orbitals come into play. Forgetting how many electrons can populate each subshell. Even getting the number of electrons wrong. These are a few I have encountered.


Students have difficulty understanding why 4#s# orbitals fill before 3#d# orbitals and get the order wrong.
Some put commas between the subshell symbols, but this is a minor thing.
There can be a lot of other minor things, but these are the ones I found were common.