Which atom in the ground state has a stable electron configuration?


Which atom in the ground state has a stable electron configuration?

(1) carbon (2) magnesium

(3) neon

(4) oxygen

Answer and explanation: Electron configuration is the distribution of electrons in an atom. In order for the electron configuration to be stable, an atom (o

ther than Hydrogen and Helium) must have a full outer octet, or 8 electrons in it's outermost shell. Hydrogen and Helium only need 2 electrons to be stable.

Therefore, we need to search for atoms with a full octet on the Periodic Table. Noble gases (group 18) are called noble because of their stability. They are stable because they all have filled outer octet and thus, we should be looking for a noble gas among the answer choices. Choice 3, Neon is the correct answer choice since it's a noble gas.

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