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Good maths skills! We know that the formula for the maximum number of electrons in an orbit is given by \(2 n^2\). Using \(n=4\) here gives us \(32\).
There are rules that tell us how electrons are distributed in an atom. There are a few exceptions to this rule. But, for most common elements, these rules hold. So, we will ignore the exceptions in this Chapter.

Rule 1 says that electrons occupy as low an \(n\) as possible. So, if you had two orbits available, you would choose the orbit with the lower \(n\). That is, always start from the lowest \(n\) possible.
Hydrogen has 1 electron. What is the \(n\) corresponding to the orbit Hydrogen's electron is in?
  • \(n=1\)
  • \(n=2\)
  • \(n=3\)
  • \(n=4\)