Hydrogen orbital diagram

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Hydrogen orbital diagram
Hydrogen orbital diagram | Image: Learnool

In the hydrogen orbital diagram, the 1s subshell contains a single electron.

To draw the hydrogen orbital diagram, start by determining the number of electrons from the periodic table. Next, note the electron configuration for reference, and follow the three essential rules: Aufbau principle, Pauli exclusion principle, and Hund’s rule. This ensures an accurate representation of hydrogen’s orbital arrangement.


Find electrons

Periodic table | Image: Learnool

The atomic number of hydrogen represents the total number of electrons of hydrogen. Since the atomic number of hydrogen is 1, the total electrons of hydrogen is 1.

Write electron configuration

The electron configuration of hydrogen is 1s1.

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

Draw orbital diagram

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 hydrogen is 1s1. Hence, draw the blank orbital diagram of hydrogen up to 1s subshell as follows:

Blank orbital diagram of hydrogen | Image: Learnool

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 1s1 indicates that the 1s subshell has 1 electron. So draw one arrow in the 1s box showing one electron as follows:

One arrow drawn in 1s box represent 1s1 | Image: Learnool

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

Next: Helium orbital diagram


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