The Full Electronic Configuration For Moscovium

How do we write the full electronic configuration for moscovium, 115Mc?

In December 2015, four new elements completed the 7th period of the Periodic Table. These elements were officially named by IUPAC in November 2016.

One of these elements is Moscovium (Symbol: Mc). It was named after the Moscow Oblast in which the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, where the element was synthesised, is situated.

We can write the full electronic configuration for moscovium with reference to its position in the Periodic Table – Mc is a Group 15 element in the 7th period. To get a better sense of Mc’s position in the Periodic Table, let us refer to the 32-column Periodic Table, shown below. (Our familiar Periodic Table above has 18 columns.)

Elements in the Periodic Table are arranged in the order of how electrons fill up the subshells in each principal quantum shell.

For example,

  • The 1st period corresponds to the filling of the 1s subshell in the n = 1 principal quantum shell, and is made up of two elements.
    → 1s2
  • The 2nd period corresponds to the filling of the 2s and 2p subshells in the n = 2 principal quantum shell, and comprises two elements in the s block and six elements in the p block.
    → 2s2 2p6
  • Similarly for the 3rd period, we can write 3s2 3p6.
  • For the 4th period however, the filling of 4s and 4p subshells in the n = 4 principal quantum shell is interjected by the filling of the 3d subshell. There are two elements in the s block, ten elements in the d block and six elements in the p block in this period.
    → 4s2 3d10 4p6

If we repeat the above process for each period till we arrive at Mc, we will obtain the following electronic configuration,

1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s2 3d10 4p6 5s2 4d10 5p6 6s2 4f14 5d10 6p6 7s2 5f14 6d10 7p3

By rearranging the principal quantum shells in increasing order, we now have the full electronic configuration for Mc,

1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d10 4s2 4p6 4d10 4f14 5s2 5p6 5d10 5f14 6s2 6p6 6d10 7s2 7p3


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