Which electron configuration represents the electrons in an atom of sulfur in an excited state?
(1) 2 – 8 – 6
(2) 2 – 7 – 7
(3) 2–8– 7
(4) 2–7– 8
Answer : 2) 2-7-7
Explanation: We must first look at the Periodic Table at the Reference Table, and find Sulfur. Sulfur's electron configuration is 2-8-6 according to the Reference Table. An excited state is a state in which an electron jumps to a higher energy level, while the ground state is the lowest energy most stable state for electrons. Now, lets look at our answer choices. Choice 1 is the ground state electron configuration for Sulfur , and is therefore wrong. For choice 2, 2-7-7, is the excited electron configuration since one electron from the second energy level jumped to a third (higher) energy level. Therefore, choice 2 is the correct answer choice.
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