What is electronic configuration?

What Does electronic configuration Mean

Before proceeding to know the meaning of the term electronic configuration, it is necessary to discover the etymological origin of the two words that give it its shape:

-Configuration, in the first place, comes from Latin. Exactly it derives from “configuratio”, which can be translated as “action and effect of giving a shape using several parts”. It is the result of the sum of the following components: the prefix “with”, which means “together”; the noun "figure", which is synonymous with "form"; the ending “-ar” and the suffix “-cion”, which is synonymous with “action and effect”.

-Electronics, secondly, is a word that comes from the Greek. It is the result of the union of these components: the noun “elektron”, which means both “amber” and “electricity”, and the suffix “-iko”, which is used to indicate “relative to”.

The notion of configuration refers to the organization of the various elements that make up something, determining its characteristics and shape. The electronics , meanwhile, is the analysis and application of the properties of electrons in different media.

It must also be remembered that electrons are elementary particles that have a negative electrical charge. These particles revolve around the nucleus of the atom .
From these definitions we can understand what the concept of electronic configuration refers to . It is the way in which electrons are arranged in an atom according to the electronic shell model . The electronic shell is the series of orbits followed by the electrons that revolve around the nucleus of the atom.
Different orbits around the nucleus can be registered in the same atom . Electron configuration refers to how electrons are arranged in these orbits , which involve different energy levels . The further the electron is orbiting from the nucleus, the higher its energy level. That is to say: the electrons of an electronic shell far from the nucleus have a higher energy level than the electrons of the nearest electronic shells.
An atom, in this framework, can establish certain chemical combinations according to its electronic configuration. This setting also determines its location on the periodic table of elements.
Around the core can be found up to seven levels of energy , also called energy orbitals, which are numbered from the one to the 7 . Electrons with the lowest energy level orbit at level 1. Each of these seven levels, on the other hand, can be subdivided up to four times: these sublevels are called s , p , d, and f . These numbers and letters are used for electron configuration notation.

In addition to all the above, we cannot ignore the fact that in each sublevel there is a maximum number of electrons that can exist. Thus, for example, in sublevel s there can only be 2 electrons at most, while in p there can be no more than 6.
In the same way, in sublevel d a maximum of 10 electrons is established and in sublevel f there can be no more than 14 electrons.
When establishing the electronic configuration of an atom, it will be necessary to know not only the number of electrons it has but also to know how to locate these in the different energy levels and respect the maximum electron capacity of each sublevel.

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