Helium Orbital Diagram

Helium Orbital Diagram
Helium orbital diagram

The orbital diagram of helium shows that the 1s subshell has 2 electrons.


Here’s how you can draw the orbital diagram of helium step by step.

Step #1: find electrons of helium
Step #2: write electron configuration of helium
Step #3: draw orbital diagram of helium

Let’s break down each step in detail.

#1 Find Electrons of Helium

The atomic number of helium represents the total number of electrons of helium. Since the atomic number of helium is 2, the total electrons of helium are 2.

#2 Write Electron Configuration of Helium

The electron configuration of helium is 1s2.

Now in the next step, start drawing the orbital diagram for helium.

#3 Draw Orbital Diagram of Helium

Before drawing the orbital diagram, you should know the three general rules.

  • Aufbau principle – electrons are first filled in lowest energy orbital and then in higher energy orbital
  • Pauli exclusion principle – two electrons with the same spin can not occupy the same orbital
  • Hund’s rule – each orbital should be first filled with one electron before being paired with a second electron

Also, you should know the number of orbitals in each subshell.

We can calculate the number of orbitals in each subshell using the formula: 2ℓ + 1

Where, ℓ = azimuthal quantum number of the subshell

For s subshell, ℓ = 0
For p subshell, ℓ = 1
For d subshell, ℓ = 2
For f subshell, ℓ = 3

So each s subshell has one orbital, each p subshell has three orbitals, each d subshell has five orbitals, and each f subshell has seven orbitals.

Now start to draw!

As mentioned above, the electron configuration of helium is 1s2. Hence, draw the blank orbital diagram of helium up to 1s subshell as follows:

Blank orbital diagram of helium

In the above orbital diagram, the box represents an orbital. Each orbital has a capacity of two electrons. And the arrows (↑↓) are drawn inside the box to represent electrons.

Now 1s2 indicates that the 1s subshell has 2 electrons. So draw two arrows in the 1s box showing two electrons as follows:

Two arrows drawn in 1s box represent 1s2

That’s it! This is the final orbital diagram of helium as we have used all 2 electrons.

Next: Lithium Orbital Diagram



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