How Do You Determine a Condensed Electron Configuration?

A condensed electron configuration is also known as noble gas notation because it uses the last noble gas of the row above the row containing the element being notated to shorten the electron notation for the element. Condensed electron configuration relies upon the same shorthand as regular electron notation.

  1. Locate the element on the periodic table

    Look for the row and column with the symbol of the element to be notated.

  2. Find the appropriate noble gas

    To locate the appropriate noble gas to use in the notation, trace the periodic table backwards from the chosen element until you reach the previous noble gas with the highest atomic number.

  3. Notate the noble gas

    Write the symbol for the noble gas in brackets, capitalizing the first letter.

  4. Count out the remaining orbitals

    Using the regular method of notating electrons, count out the remaining electrons in the element.

  5. Notate the orbital level

    Write the orbital level from one to seven after the bracketed noble gas.

  6. Write the orbital type

    After writing down the orbital level, use letter s, p, d or f to notate the orbital type. Write it next to the orbital level.

  7. Write the total number of electrons in the orbital

    Using a superscript, write down the total number of electrons present in the orbital above the orbital letter.