Problem: A certain oxygen atom has the electron configuration 1s22s22px22py2. How many unpaired electrons are present? Is this an excited state of oxygen? In going from this state to the ground state, would energy be released or absorbed?

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When writing electron configuration, we distribute electrons on each orbital:

 1 orbital  max. of 2 e- 

 3 orbitals  max. of 2 e- per orbital (total of 6 e-)


Writing the orbital diagram of the oxygen atom with electron configuration of 1s22s22px22py2:

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Problem Details

A certain oxygen atom has the electron configuration 1s22s22px22py2. How many unpaired electrons are present? Is this an excited state of oxygen? In going from this state to the ground state, would energy be released or absorbed?