Problem: Two possible electron configurations for an Li atom are shown here.In the absence of an external magnetic field, can we say that one electron configuration has a lower energy than the other?

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FREE Expert Solution

We have to determine if one electron configuration of the two given configurations, will have a lower energy in the absence of an external magnetic field.


The two given electron configurations only differ in the spin of the electron in the 2s orbital.

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Problem Details

Two possible electron configurations for an Li atom are shown here.

Both configuration A and B have two electrons (one up, one down) in the 1s orbital and one in the 2s orbital.  Configuration A has the 2s electron pointing up while configuration B has it pointing down.


In the absence of an external magnetic field, can we say that one electron configuration has a lower energy than the other?