We are being asked to determine the element(s) that will have one unpaired electron in the p orbital. Let’s first write the electron configuration of each element.
Neutral element: Atomic number = # protons = # of electrons
s orbital → can hold a maximum of 2 electrons
p orbitals → can hold a maximum of 6 electrons
d orbitals → can hold a maximum of 10 electrons
f orbitals → can hold a maximum of 14 electrons
When filling up the orbitals, keep in mind:
Aufbau Principle → totally fill in the lowest energy orbital first
Hund’s Rule → electron orbitals that are degenerate (same energy orbitals) are first half-filled before they are totally filled
Select the element(s) that will have one unpaired electron in the p orbital.
Ne, S, Cl, Al, Mg
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