Worksheet: Energies of Atomic Orbitals

In this worksheet, we will practice predicting the effects of shielding, nuclear charge, and orbital occupancy on the relative energies of atomic orbitals.


Which of the following statements is false?

  • AElectrons are usually added to the 4s subshell before the 3d subshell.
  • BElectrons fill subshells of equal 𝑛 in order of increasing 𝑙 .
  • CElectrons are usually removed from the 4s subshell before the 3d subshell.
  • DElectrons fill subshells in order of increasing 𝑛 .
  • EThe energy difference between the 3d and 4s subshells is sometimes less than the pairing energy of the 4s subshell.


Atoms of P a , U , N p , C m and L r contain one electron in the 6d subshell and two electrons in the 7s subshell. A 6d0 configuration is produced if the d electron is promoted to a 5f or higher energy orbital. In which of these atoms does changing from a 6d1 to a 6d0 configuration produce the greatest increase in pairing energy?

  • A U
  • B P a
  • C N p
  • D C m
  • E L r

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