IB Syllabus: 12.1 Electron Configuration (3h)


Explain how evidence from first and successive ionization energies across periods accounts for the existence of the main energy levels and sub-levels in atoms.

TOK: Which ways of knowing o we use to interpret indirect evidence? Do we believe or know of the existence of energy levels?


Explain how successive ionization energy data is related to the electron configuration of an atom

AIM 7: Spreadsheets, databases and modelling software can be used here


State the relative energies of s, p, d and f orbitals in a single energy level.


State the maximum number of orbitals in a given energy level.


Draw the shape of an s orbital and the shapes of the px, py and pz orbitals.

TOK: The breakdown of the classical concepts of position and momentum is another example of the limitations of everyday experience. The need for a probability picture at the atomic scale shows that human knowledge is ultimately limited


Apply the Aufbau principle, Hund's rule and the Pauli exclusion principle to write electron to write electron configurations for atoms and ions up to Z=54.

For Z=23 the full electron configuration is 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s2 3d3 and the abreviated configuration is [Ar]4s2 3d3 or [Ar]3d3 4s2. Exceptions to the principle for copper and chromium should be known. Students should be familiar with the representation of the spinning electron in an orbital as an arrow in a box.

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