Worksheet: Hund's Rules

In this worksheet, we will practice using Hund's rules to predict the electron configurations of atoms and favored spin and momentum quantum numbers.


One of the p orbitals of an unknown element is half filled. Assuming that Hund’s rule is upheld, which of the following elements could not be the unknown element?

  • AGallium
  • BSilicon
  • CIodine
  • DXenon


The following term symbols correspond to the ground electronic state of atomic carbon, C . Use Hund’s rule to predict which of these levels is lowest in energy.

  • A 3P2
  • B 1S0
  • C 1D2
  • D 3P0


The electronic ground state of a multielectron atom is determined by applying Hund’s rules:

  1. The state with the largest total orbital angular momentum 𝐿 has the lowest energy.
  2. The state with the maximum multiplicity 2 𝑆 + 1 has the lowest energy.
  3. If the outermost subshell is half-filled or less, the state with the lowest total angular momentum 𝐽 has the lowest energy.

In which order are these rules applied?

  • A1, 3, 2
  • B1, 2, 3
  • C2, 3, 1
  • D2, 1, 3
  • E3, 2, 1

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