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0: Pre-semester warm-up

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    You should print this worksheet and complete all the problems before the first day of class. You should complete all written responses on this worksheet using pencil or black or blue ink. You will hand this in and it will be graded!


    YOUR NAME____________________________   

    Review Questions on Atomic Orbitals1

    Brainstorm: Off the top of your head, list all the things that the term “orbital” represents, making your list as specific and complete as you can.





    1. What quantum number determines the overall size of the orbital?  __________

    2.  What quantum number determines the shape of the orbital?  __________

    3.  Why are orbitals shown with shading or with two different colors, red and blue? What is the meaning of this shading?


    4. Fill in the table: Determine the number of radial and angular nodes in the orbitals listed below.


    # of angular nodes

    # of radial nodes

























    5. Fill in the table by drawing sketches of the orbitals listed. Draw all the orbitals for each set.

    Orbital Draw all possible orbitals of each.

















    6. What are all possible quantum numbers for the following orbitals?

    orbital quantum number, n quantum number, l quantum number, ml

    7. Consider the 2s and 2p orbitals in a hydrogen atom and a helium atom.  Complete the following statements with (less than, equal to, greater than). Each statement is used exactly once!

    a. In a hydrogen atom, the energy of a 2s orbital is _______________ the energy of a 2p orbital. Explain:



    b. In a helium atom, the energy of a 2s orbital is  ________________  the energy of a 2p orbital. Explain why a and b are different!



    c. The energy of a 2s orbital in hydrogen is  ________________  the energy of a 2s orbital in helium. Explain:


    Review Questions on Electron Configurations2

    On the table below:

    • Number the Groups from Left to Right from 1-18.  Then number them using the “a” and “b” system.
    • Label and color in the s, p, d, and f blocks of the periodic table above in different colors (use colored pens, pencils or crayons!). Label the quantum number corresponding to each of these blocks/subshells.
    • Label the quantum numbers of each Period from top to bottom.
    • The table is organized with Metals on the left and Non-Metals on the right. Draw the “staircase” division and label Metals and Non-Metals.


    In all of the questions below, and from now on in this course, write electron configurations with orbitals in the order of increasing energy.

    8. In which period of the periodic table are the following elements found?  Write their electron configurations.  The first one is done for you.
    a. sodium         b. oxygen         c. calcium         d. carbon          e.  iron           f. arsenic
    period 3
    [Ne] 3s1



    9. In which group (use a/b system) of the periodic table are the following elements found?  How many valence electrons are in each element? 
    a. hydrogen           b. nitrogen         c. sulfur         d. phosphorous         e. iron        f.  bromine




    10. How many d electrons do the following metal atoms have?  Write their valence electron configurations.
    a. Cu                   b. Cr                   c. Fe                   d. Zn                   e. Pt             



    11. How many d electrons do the following metal ions have?  Write their electron configurations. 
    a. Cu+1               b. Mn+2               c. Fe+3               d. Zn+2               e. Pt+2           f. Cu+2



    12. Write the electron configuration of vanadium (V) and its +1, +2, +3, +4 and +5 ions.














    During Class, if time permits: Get in a group with at least two other classmates. Compare your answers to the questions above. Make sure you agree completely with everyone in your group, and if not discuss to find the correct answer. You may annotate your original work using a different color pen. If your group is unsure, please mark it with a star!


    1. Adapted from "First Day Review of Atomic Orbitals", an In-Class activity created by Margret J. Geselbracht, Reed College ( from learning objects created by Joanne L. Stewart (Hope College) and Barbara Reisner (James Madison University), and posted on VIPEr ( on July 22, 2009.  Copyright Margret J. Geselbracht 2009.  This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike License.  To view a copy of this license visit

    2. The periodic table was posted on the WP clipart website and labeled as a public domain image:, accessed on Nov 19, 2019.

    0: Pre-semester warm-up is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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