# Electron configuration calculator with steps - Easy to use

Electron configuration calculator

An Electron configuration calculator is an online tool that will help you to find the electron configuration for any atom right away. Electron configuration is the arrangement of electrons in atomic orbitals. It represents the electrons in numbers. Electron configuration is used to predict the properties of a group of elements.

## How to use the Electron configuration calculator?

In three steps, you can get electron configuration for any element, let’s see how it works.

• Enter the name or symbol of the atom in the given blank box.
• Click the calculate button
• After submission, the electron configuration of the given element will be shown in general form and in short form as well.

For example –

Let’s say you have to calculate the Electron configuration for Sodium.

⇒ Enter either the Sodium or the “Na” symbol in the given empty box of the Electron configuration calculator.

⇒ Click the calculate button

⇒ The “Electron configuration calculator” will calculate the electron configuration for the Sodium atom and you will get your answer.

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## How to Calculate Electron configuration?

To calculate the electron configuration of elements, we will use the Aufbau principle, for that, we have to first find the total number of electrons in a given element, then we have to fill the orbitals with electrons from lower energy to higher energy, i.e. the electrons will be filled into 1s orbital first then 2s, then 2p…so on.

Aufbau Principle:

• The word ‘Aufbau’ in German means ‘building up’.
• The Aufbau rule simply gives the order of electrons filling in the orbital of an atom in its ground state.
• It states that the orbital with the lowest energy level will be filled first before those with high energy levels. In short, the electrons will be filled in the orbital in order of their increasing energies.
• For example, the 1s orbital will be filled first with electrons before the 2s orbital.

Simply understand that there are commonly four different types of subshells – s, p, d, and, f.

These subshells can hold a maximum number of electrons on the basis of a formula, 2(2l + 1) where ‘l’ is the azimuthal quantum number.

Value of ‘l’ for different subshells.

 Subshells Value of ‘l’ Maximum number of electrons, 2(2l + 1) Number of orbitals in the subshell s 0 2 1 p 1 6 3 d 2 10 5 f 3 14 7

So, in short, the s subshell can hold a maximum of 2 electrons(1 orbital), the p subshell can hold 6 electrons(3 orbitals), the d subshell can hold 10 electrons(5 orbitals), and the f subshell can hold at most 14 electrons(7 orbitals).

Now, the electron configuration of an atom can be built by filling the electrons in a lower energy subshell first then higher, higher, and higher.

Generally, (n + l) rule is used to predict the energy level of subshells.

n = principle quantum number

l = Azimuthal quantum number

⇒ Lower the value of (n + l) for an subshell, the lower its energy, hence, it will be filled first with electrons.

⇒ For two different subshells having same (n + l) value, then the subshell with lower value of n has lower energy.

So, all these are basics of How filling of electrons will be done in different subshells, obviously, you don’t have so much time for calculating electron configuration by using so many rules.

Therefore, we have a diagonal rule for electron filling order in the different subshells using the Aufbau principle.

So, the order in which the orbitals are filled with electrons from lower energy to higher energy is – 1s < 2s < 2p < 3s < 3p < 4s < 3d < 4p < 5s < 4d < 5p < 6s < 4f < 5d < 6p < 7s < 5f < 6d < 7p and so on.

Note: S orbital can hold maximum of 2 electrons, P orbital can hold 6 electrons, D orbital can hold 10 electrons, and F orbital can hold maximum of 14 electrons.

Let’s take an example to understand How to calculate the electron configuration for elements using the Aufbau principle.

How to calculate the electron configuration of Carbon using the Aufbau Principle?

First of all, to calculate the electron configuration for Carbon, we have to find the total number of electrons in it.

“The number of electrons in an atom is equal to the atomic number of an element, for neutrally charged species.”

• So, a Carbon atom is a neutral atom that has 6 atomic numbers which implies it has a total of 6 electrons.
• As per the Aufbau rule, the electrons will be filled into 1s orbital first then 2s, then 2p…so on.
• Now, for the electron configuration of Carbon, the first 2 electrons will go in 1s orbital since s subshell can hold a maximum of 2 electrons.
• The next two electrons will go in the 2s orbital, after that, we are left with 2 electrons, these will go in the 2p orbital since the p subshell can hold a maximum of 6 electrons.
• Therefore, the electron configuration of Carbon will be 1s22s22p2.

How to calculate the electron configuration of Magnesium using the Aufbau Principle?

• A Magnesium atom is a neutral atom that has an atomic number of 12 which implies it has a total of 12 electrons.
• As per the Aufbau rule, the electrons will be filled into 1s orbital first then 2s, then 2p…so on.
• Now, for the electron configuration of Magnesium, the first 2 electrons will go in 1s orbital since s subshell can hold a maximum of 2 electrons.
• The next two electrons will go into the 2s orbital, after that, the next 6 electrons will go into the 2p orbital since the p subshell can hold up to 6 electrons.
• Now, we are left with 2 electrons, this will go in a 3s orbital.
• Therefore, the electron configuration of Magnesium will be 1s22s22p63s2.

How to calculate the electron configuration of Potassium using the Aufbau Principle?

• A Potassium atom is a neutral atom that has an atomic number of 19 which implies it has a total of 19 electrons.
• As per the Aufbau rule, the electrons will be filled into 1s orbital first then 2s, then 2p…so on.
• Now, for the electron configuration of Potassium, the first 2 electrons will go in 1s orbital since s subshell can hold a maximum of 2 electrons.
• The next two electrons will go into the 2s orbital, after that, the next 6 electrons will go into the 2p orbital since the p subshell can hold up to 6 electrons.
• The next two electrons will go into the 3s orbital, and after that, the next six electrons will go into the 3p orbital, finally, the remaining one electron will go into the 4s orbital.
• Therefore, the electron configuration of Potassium will be 1s22s22p63s23p64s1.

That’s all, It is the simplest method to calculate the electron configuration for a given element. For the first 30 elements in the periodic table, we must know How to find their electron configuration.

The electron configuration for the first 30 elements –

 Atomic number Name of the Elements Electron configuration 1 Hydrogen electron configuration 1s1 2 Helium electron configuration 1s2 3 Lithium electron configuration 1s22s1 4 Beryllium electron configuration 1s22s2 5 Boron electron configuration 1s22s2 2p1 6 Carbon electron configuration 1s22s2 2p2 7 Nitrogen electron configuration 1s22s2 2p3 8 Oxygen electron configuration 1s22s2 2p4 9 Fluorine electron configuration 1s22s2 2p5 10 Neon electron configuration 1s22s2 2p6 11 Sodium electron configuration 1s22s2 2p63s1 12 Magnesium electron configuration 1s22s2 2p63s2 13 Aluminum electron configuration 1s22s2 2p63s2 3p1 14 Silicon electron configuration 1s22s2 2p63s2 3p2 15 Phosphorus electron configuration 1s22s2 2p63s2 3p3 16 Sulfur electron configuration 1s22s2 2p63s2 3p4 17 Chlorine electron configuration 1s22s2 2p63s2 3p5 18 Argon electron configuration 1s22s2 2p63s2 3p6 19 Potassium electron configuration 1s22s2 2p63s2 3p64s1 20 Calcium electron configuration 1s22s2 2p63s2 3p64s2 21 Scandium electron configuration 1s22s2 2p63s2 3p63d1 4s2 22 Titanium electron configuration 1s22s2 2p63s2 3p63d2 4s2 23 Vanadium electron configuration 1s22s2 2p63s2 3p63d3 4s2 24 Chromium electron configuration 1s22s2 2p63s2 3p63d5 4s1 25 Manganese electron configuration 1s22s2 2p63s2 3p63d5 4s2 26 Iron electron configuration 1s22s2 2p63s2 3p63d6 4s2 27 Cobalt electron configuration 1s22s2 2p63s2 3p63d7 4s2 28 Nickel electron configuration 1s22s2 2p63s2 3p63d8 4s2 29 Copper electron configuration 1s22s2 2p63s2 3p63d10 4s1 30 Zinc electron configuration 1s22s2 2p63s2 3p63d10 4s2

In the above list of the first 30 elements of electron configuration, there are two exceptions, the first is Chromium(Cr), and the second is Copper(Cu). They violate the Aufbau principle rule to get more stability.

The remaining 28 elements have electron configuration as proposed by the Aufbau principle rule.

Let’s understand it.

The actual electron configuration for Chromium is 1s22s2 2p63s2 3p63d5 4s1, and not 1s22s2 2p63s2 3p63d4 4s2(as proposed by the Aufbau principle).

Same as the actual electron configuration for Copper is 1s22s2 2p63s2 3p63d10 4s1, and not 1s22s2 2p63s2 3p63d9 4s2(as proposed by the Aufbau principle).

“The reason for being this, they deviate from normal electronic configuration to get extra stability by half-filled and fulfilled configuration.”

“The completely filled d-orbital offers more stability than the partially filled configuration.”

“There are two main exceptions to electron configuration: chromium and copper. In these cases, a completely full or half full d sub-level is more stable than a partially filled d sub-level, so an electron from the 4s orbital is excited and rises to a 3d orbital.”

## FAQ

The easiest way to calculate the electronic configuration for any element is by using a diagonal rule for electron filling order in the different subshells according to the Aufbau principle.

### How do you calculate an electron configuration quickly?

By using the diagonal rule of the Aufbau principle, we can calculate electron configuration quickly. All we have to do is to remember the order in which the orbital is filled with electrons from lower energy to higher energy.

The order of calculating the electron configuration is – 1s < 2s < 2p < 3s < 3p < 4s < 3d < 4p < 5s < 4d < 5p < 6s < 4f < 5d < 6p < 7s < 5f < 6d < 7p and so on.

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#### Vishal Goyal

Vishal Goyal is the founder of Topblogtenz, a comprehensive resource for students seeking guidance and support in their chemistry studies. He holds a degree in B.Tech (Chemical Engineering) and has four years of experience as a chemistry tutor. The team at Topblogtenz includes experts like experienced researchers, professors, and educators, with the goal of making complex subjects like chemistry accessible and understandable for all. A passion for sharing knowledge and a love for chemistry and science drives the team behind the website. Let's connect through LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vishal-goyal-2926a122b/

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