# What does electron configuration tell you about an element?

Apr 14, 2015

It tells you how many electrons there are in each of the different orbitals (s, p, d, or f) and at which energy level (n= 1, 2, 3, ...).

Examples:

$1 {s}^{2} \to$ 2 electrons in the s orbital on first energy level. (this happens to be the electron configuration of helium, $H e$)

$\left[H e\right] 2 {s}^{2} 2 {p}^{5} \to$ electron configuration of fluorine, $F$. Here's how you'd break down the configuration

• $1 {s}^{2}$, so 2 electrons in the s orbital on 1st energy level - this is the electron configuration of helium;
• $2 {s}^{2}$, so 2 electrons in s orbital on 2nd energy level;
• $2 {p}^{5}$, so 5 electrons in the p orbital on 2nd energy level

$\left[A r\right] 4 {s}^{2} 3 {d}^{2}$ -> electron configuration of titanium, $T i$

• $\left[A r\right]$ - the electron configuration of argon, $A r$
• 2 electrons in s orbital of 4th energy level
• 2 electrons in d orbital on 3rd energy level