Electron-Configuration Diagram for Carbon

The Electron-Configuration Diagram for Carbon

The first step in the process is to determine the number of electrons in the orbital-filling diagram of carbon. Carbon's atomic number is six, which identifies the electron count in its orbital-filling diagram. The second step is to determine carbon's short-hand element. Helium is carbon's short-hand element and it is the preceding nobel element. A second method for finding the shorthand element is counting backward on the periodic table starting from carbon. Carbon's number of valence electrons can be found by subtracting helium's electron count(2) from carbon's electron count(6): 6-2=4. Carbon has four valence electrons. See the the orbital-filling diagram in figure 1. In this case, the valence shell is written as 2s²2p². All the sublevels filled after the s and before the p in the valence shell would be included in the electron-configuration diagram. In the case of carbon, there are no orbitals filled after the s and before the p. The last two remaining electrons are in the kernel. The noble element that has just two electrons is helium. The electron-configuration diagram in figure 1 for carbon is [He]2s²2p².

© Pat Thayer 2014-2016