Sodium orbital diagram

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Sodium orbital diagram
Sodium orbital diagram | Image: Learnool

In the sodium orbital diagram, the 1s subshell accommodates two electrons, the 2s subshell holds another pair, the 2p subshell has a maximum of six electrons, and the 3s subshell contains a single electron, totaling eleven electrons.

To illustrate the sodium orbital diagram, begin by determining the number of electrons from the periodic table. Note the electron configuration for reference, and adhere to the three essential rules: Aufbau principle, Pauli exclusion principle, and Hund’s rule. This systematic approach ensures an accurate representation of sodium’s orbital arrangement.


Find electrons

A periodic table listing 118 elements, with atomic numbers rising progressively | Image: Learnool

To find out how many electrons sodium has, check its atomic number on the periodic table. Sodium’s atomic number is 11, indicating it possesses eleven electrons.

Write electron configuration

The electron configuration of sodium is 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s1.

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

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 sodium is 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s1. Hence, draw the blank orbital diagram of sodium up to 3s subshell as follows:

Blank orbital diagram of sodium | 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 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 | Image: Learnool

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

Two arrows drawn in 2s box represent 2s2 | Image: Learnool

2p6 indicates that the 2p subshell has 6 electrons. So draw six arrows in the 2p box showing six electrons as follows:

Six arrows drawn in 2p box represent 2p6 | Image: Learnool

3s1 indicates that the 3s subshell has 1 electron. So draw one arrow in the 3s box showing one electron as follows:

One arrow drawn in 3s box represent 3s1 | Image: Learnool

That’s it! This is the final orbital diagram of sodium as we have used all 11 electrons.

Next: Magnesium orbital diagram


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