What is the electronic configuration?

Electronic configuration

The electronic configuration consists of the entire arrangement of the electrons found in an atom in order to order said particles at atomic levels.

Electronic configuration

What is the electronic configuration?

Since ancient times, one of the great recurring questions of scientists was about the composition of matter in its smallest and indivisible state. For this, various theories were available which, although they were framed within a deductive logic , did not come hand in hand with an experimental justification . However, during the 20th century this changed through the emergence of new analytical devices and modern chemistry . In that order, the definition of electron configuration was created , whichwas established as the theoretical framework to define the ordering of particles at atomic levels.

  • Definition of electron configuration
  • Explanation
  • What is electronic configuration for?
  • Types
  • How to do electron configuration
  • Importance
  • Examples

Definition of electron configuration

The electronic configuration is the arrangement with which the electrons are arranged or organized in an atom based on the model of electronic shells . In this way, the properties in which the elements are chemically combined can be explained . Under this principle the order was established in the modern periodic table .


The reasoning behind the electron configuration is based on the model of electronic shells that an atom presents . This model is based on three fundamental precepts:

  • Exclusion principle: Established by Pauli , this principle is based on the theory that two electrons have the possibility of occupying an atomic orbital . That is, each energy state has a space limit to house electrons .
  • Hund’s Rule : This rule states that electrons , being in different shells , prefer to maintain parallel spins rather than opposite spins . This means that at the time of filling layers energy , the electrons are filled one to one layer and then allowed entry to the pair opposite .
  • Aufbau’s principle: this principle determines the priority of filling orbitals , with the lowest energy being the first to be occupied.

What is electronic configuration for?

The concept of electron configuration establishes the way in which the ordering of electrons within an atom associated with a given element is determined . This allows it to be possible to appreciate at an atomic level everything related to the properties of an element and the mechanism of its chemical reactions .


Among the types of electron configuration are:

  • Standard : this type of electron configuration is based on the principles of the Madelung method and is supported by memotechnical rules such as the Moeller Diagram .
  • Condensed : The levels that are occupied in the standard configuration r by electrons can be determined as the noble gas that precedes the element in question in the periodic table .
  • Developed : this type of configuration requires the use of arrows to establish the pin of each of the electrons in an element .
  • Semi-developed : Contains combined precepts of the developed configuration and the condensed configuration , respectively.

How to do electron configuration

The rule Madelung is the method of choice for establishing the electronic configuration of one atom . The procedure is the next:

  • First, the value of the atomic number (Z) of the element in question is determined such that it is equal to the number of electrons present in a neutral atom . This data can be verified in the periodic table .
  • Then, using the Moeller diagram, the location of the electrons must be determined based on the principles established by Bohr, Hund and Pauli .


Thanks to the notion of electronic configuration at the level of the structure of the atom , the development of chemistry at levels never explored was possible, that is, a greater understanding of matter and its dynamics at the quantum level ; This has a technological impact and is observed in the development of devices and materials with greater efficiency.


  • Electron configuration of Iron (Fe): [Ar] 3d6 4s2
  • De la Plata (Ag): [Kr] 4d10 5s1
  • Carbon (C): [He] 2s2 2p2
  • Magnesium (Mg): [Ne] 3s2
  • Chlorine (Cl): [Ne] 3s2 3p5
  • Electron configuration of Hydrogen (H): 1s1
  • Copper (Cu): [Ar] 3d10 4s1
  • Del Oro (Au): [Xe] 4f14 5d10 6s1
  • Lithium (Li): [He] 2s1
  • From Iodine (I): [Kr] 4d10 5s2 5p5
  • Electron configuration of Chromium (Cr): [Ar] 3d5 4s1
  • Sodium (Na): [Ne] 3s1
  • Calcium (Ca): [Ar] 4s2
  • Nitrogen (N): [He] 2s2 2p3
  • Oxygen (O): [He] 2s2 2p4
  • Electron configuration of Potassium (K): [Ar] 4s1
  • From Phosphorus (P): 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p3
  • Del Argon (Ar): [Ne] 3s2 3p6
  • Copper (Cu): [Ar] 3d10 4s1

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