Sodium (Na) Orbital diagram, Electron configuration, and Valence electrons

Home Sodium Orbital diagram, Electron Configuration, and Valence electrons

Sodium has an atomic number of 11 belongs to Group 1 also known as the alkali metal group. It is situated in the S-block of the periodic table. Sodium has the symbol Na and “it is the sixth most abundant element in the Earth’s crust”.

In this article, we will discuss – Sodium Orbital diagram, Electron configuration, and Valence electrons in detail.

Orbital diagram:- A orbital diagram is simply a pictorial representation of the arrangement of electrons in the orbital of an atom, it shows the electrons in the form of arrows, also, indicates the spin of electrons.

Electron configuration:- Electron configuration is the arrangement of electrons in atomic orbitals. It shows the electrons in numbers, It doesn’t show the details on the spin of electrons like the orbital diagram.

Valence electrons:- Valence electrons are the simply outermost electron of an atom situated in an outermost shell surrounding an atomic nucleus. They can participate in the formation of chemical bonds.

How to find Electron configuration of Sodium (Na)?

The electron configuration of Sodium can be found using the Aufbau principle.

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.

SubshellsValue of ‘l’Maximum number of electrons, 2(2l + 1)Number of orbitals in the subshell
s021
p163
d2105
f3147

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 writing 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.

Aufbau principle for finding electron configuration

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.

Sodium Electron configuration using the Aufbau Principle

  • A Sodium atom is a neutral atom that has an atomic number of 11 which implies it has a total of 11 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 Sodium, 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, the next 6 electrons will go in the 2p orbital since the p subshell can hold up to 6 electrons.
  • Now, we are left with only 1 electron, this will go in 3s orbital
  • Therefore, the electron configuration of Sodium will be 1s22s22p63s1.

Electron configuration for Sodium (Na)

Sodium (Na) Electron Configuration

Orbital diagram for Sodium

The orbital diagram simply represents the arrangement of electrons in the different orbitals of an atom, it uses an arrow to represent the electrons, every orbital(one box) contains a maximum of 2 electrons.

There are three rules followed for drawing the orbital diagram for an atom.

(1). Aufbau’s principle:- This rule state that the lower energy orbital will be filled before the higher energy orbital, for example – the 1s orbital will fill before the 2s orbital.

(2). Hund’s rule:- This rule state that each orbital of a given subshell should be filled with one electron each before pairing them. That means “Each orbital gets one electron first, before adding the second electron to the orbital”.

(3). Pauli Exclusion Principle:- This rule state that, no two electrons can occupy the same orbital with the same spin. That means “One must be spin up (↑) and one must be spin down (↓)”.

rules for drawing the orbital diagram

If you understand the above rules then constructing the orbital diagram or orbital notation for Sodium is super easy.

Basics of Orbital diagram:-

There are different types of orbitals – s, p, d, and, f. These orbitals contain a number of boxes that can hold a number of electrons. Let’s see.

Each box will hold a maximum of 2 electrons with opposite spin.

  • S orbital contains 1 box that can hold a maximum of 2 electrons.
  • P orbital contains 3 boxes that can hold a maximum of 6 electrons.
  • D orbital contains 5 boxes that can hold a maximum of 10 electrons.
  • F orbital contains 7 boxes that can hold a maximum of 14 electrons.

The orbital diagram will also be filled with the same order as described by the Aufbau principle. (1s < 2s < 2p < 3s……and so on.)

What is the Orbital diagram for Sodium?

We know the electron configuration of Sodium is 1s22s22p63s1, now for drawing its orbital diagram, we need to show its electrons in form of an arrow in different boxes using Hund’s and Pauli exclusion rule.

  • The orbital diagram of Sodium contains 1s orbital, 2s orbital, 2p orbital, and 3s orbital. 1s orbital contains 1 box, 2s orbital also contains 1 box, 2p orbital contains 3 boxes, and 3s orbital contains 1 box.
  • Sodium has a total of 11 electrons and one box can hold up to the two electrons.
  • Therefore, the first two electrons will go into the 1s orbital, the next two will go into the 2s orbital, after that, the next six electrons will go into the 2p orbital, since, the 2p orbital has 3 boxes, so, these electrons will be filled using Hund’s rule. (Each box gets one electron first, then start pairing).
  • After filling these orbitals, we are still left with 1 electron, this will go in 3s orbital.

Orbital diagram for Sodium (Na)

Sodium Orbital diagram

Electron configuration Vs Orbital diagram for Sodium

The main difference between the orbital diagram and electron configuration is an orbital diagram shows electrons in form of arrows whereas an electron configuration shows electrons in form of numbers. Also, the orbital diagram shows details on the spin of electrons whereas the electron configuration doesn’t show it.

Both these follow the Aufbau principle (Diagonal rule).

electron configuration vs orbital diagram for sodium (Na)

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Electron configuration for Sodium via Bohr model (Orbit)

Bohr model describes the visual representation of orbiting electrons around the small nucleus. It used different electron shells such as K, L, M, N…so on.

These electron shells hold a specific number of electrons that can be calculated via the 2n2 formula where n represents the shell number.

Electron shellsShell number (n)Max. number of electrons (2n2)
K12
L28
M318
N432

So, K is the first shell or orbit that can hold up to 2 electrons, L is the 2nd shell which can hold up to 8 electrons, M is the third shell that can hold up to 18 electrons, and N is the fourth shell that can hold up to 32 electrons.

Now, Sodium has an atomic number of 11 and it contains a total number of 11 electrons. Hence, 2 electrons will go in the first shell(K), 8 electrons will go in the second shell(L), and the remaining one electron will go in the third shell(M).

Therefore, the electrons per shell for Sodium is 2, 8, 1, hence, we can say, based on the shell, the electronic configuration of the Sodium atom is [2, 8, 1].

Also checkHow to draw Bohr model of Sodium atom

Sodium Valence electrons

Valence electrons are the outermost electrons present in the outermost shell of an atom. They have more energy, hence, they are part of most chemical reactions.

We can find valence electrons of an atom either by knowing its periodic group number or its electron configuration. Both these ways are super easy.

Finding Sodium Valence electrons through the Group number

For neutral atoms, the valence electrons of an atom will be equal to its main periodic group number. However, for transition metals, the process of finding valence electrons is complicated.

Now, for determining the valence electron for the Sodium atom, look at the periodic table and find its Group number. The group number can be found from its column on the periodic table.

valence electrons for sodium (Na)

So, the number of valence electrons in Sodium is 1. Since it belongs to Group 1 in the Periodic table.

Finding Sodium Valence electrons through the Electron configuration or Bohr model

We know, the electron configuration of the Sodium atom is 1s22s22p63s1, and valence electrons are those electrons found in the outer shell of an atom.

This electron configuration of Sodium shows that the outer shell of Sodium has just 1 electron(3s1), hence, the number of valence electrons in the Sodium atom is 1.

Also, we know, the electron configuration of Sodium based on the shells is [2, 8, 1], which means, the two electrons are present in the first shell, eight electrons are present in the 2nd shell, and one electron is present in the third shell or outer shell.

Hence, the electrons found in the 3rd shell of the Sodium atom are its valence electrons because it is the outermost shell also called the valence shell.

The 3rd shell or outer shell of the Sodium atom contains only 1 electron, therefore, the number of valence electrons in the Sodium atom is 1.

how many valence electrons does sodium (Na) have

Sodium Valence electrons

Electron configuration, Valence electrons, and Orbital diagram of Sodium in tabular form

Name of atomSodium (Na)
Number of electrons11
Number of electrons per shell[2, 8, 1]
Number of valence electrons1
Electron configuration1s22s22p63s1 or [Ne] 3s1
Orbital diagramConsists of four orbitals – 1s, 2s, 2p, and, 3s.

Also read:

FAQ

What are the Ground state and Excited-state Electron configurations of Sodium?

There is a simple difference between Ground state and Excited-state configuration.

The ground state configuration of an atom is the same as its regular electron configuration in which electrons remain in the lowest possible energy.

So, the ground-state electron configuration for the Sodium atom is 1s22s22p63s1.

The excited-state configuration of an atom is different from the regular configuration of an atom, this occurs, when an electron is excited and jumps into a higher orbital.

The excited-state electron configuration for Sodium is 1s22s22p63p1.

In its excited state, the valence electron in the 3s sublevel is promoted to the 3p sublevel

What is the shorthand electron configuration of Sodium?

The shorthand electron configuration for the Sodium atom is [Ne] 3s1.

∴ [Ne] electron configuration is 1s22s22p6.

Which element has the 1s22s22p63s1 Electron configuration?

Element with electron configuration 1s22s22p63s1 is Sodium (Na) which has the atomic number of 11.

How many valence electrons does Sodium have?

The Sodium atom has only 1 valence electron in its outermost or valence shell. Sodium is belonged to group 1st and has the atomic number of 11.

What is the orbital diagram for Sodium (Na)?

The orbital diagram for Sodium is drawn with 4 orbitals. The orbitals are 1s, 2s, 2p, and 3s. The Sodium orbital diagram contains 2 electrons in the 1s orbital, 2 electrons in the 2s orbital, the six electrons in the 2p orbital, and the remaining one electron in the 3s orbital.

An orbital diagram for a ground-state electron configuration of Sodium atom is shown below-

orbital notation for sodium

What is the electron configuration of the Na+ ion?

We know, in general, that the electron configuration of Sodium (Na) is 1s22s22p63s1.

Now, in the Na+ ion, the positive charge means, Sodium loses one electron.

Therefore, to write the electron configuration of the Na+ ion, we have to remove one electron from the configuration of Sodium (Na).

∴ The resulting electron configuration for the Sodium ion (Na+) will be 1s22s22p6. It resembles the configuration of the nearest inert gas i.e Neon.

Properties of Sodium

  • Sodium appears as silvery-white metallic and highly reactive in nature.
  • It has a boiling point of 882.9 °C and a melting point of 97.7 °C.
  • Its oxidation state varies from -1 to +1.
  • According to the Pauling scale, its electronegativity is 0.93.
  • It has a body-centered cubic crystal structure.
  • It is the seventh most abundant element on Earth.
  • Its electronegativity at the Pauling scale is 0.93.

Summary

  • The electron configuration of Sodium in terms of the shell or orbit is [2, 8, 1].
  • The ground-state electron configuration of the Sodium (Na) atom is 1s22s22p63s1. And for the excited state, it is 1s22s22p63p1.
  • The shorthand electron configuration for Sodium is [Ne] 3s1.
  • The electron configuration for the sodium ion (Na+) is 1s22s22p6.
  • The number of valence electrons available for Sodium atoms is 1. Sodium is situated in Group 1st and has an atomic number of 11.
  • The first shell of Sodium has 2 electrons and the outer shell or valence shell of the Sodium has only 1 electron, hence, the number of valence electrons in the Sodium atom is 1.
  • The orbital diagram for Sodium is drawn by following three principles – the Aufbau principle, Hund’s principle, and Pauli’s exclusion principle.
  • The Sodium orbital diagram comprises four orbitals. The four orbitals are 1s, 2s, 2p, and 3s.
  • The first two electrons will go in the 1s orbital, the next two in the 2s orbital, the next six in the 2p orbital, and the remaining one electron in the 3s orbital.
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