# What is the difference between carbon in an excited state and with sp³ hybridization?

What is the difference between the carbon in the excited state, $$\ce{[(1s)^2] (2s)^1 (2p)^3}$$, and $$\pu{sp^3}$$ hybridization?

• The difference is that excited state exists in nature, while sp3 hybridization exists in our heads. – Ivan Neretin Oct 4 '18 at 15:38
• Those are two different (but related) concepts. This might get close as a homework question, please have a look here – Feodoran Oct 4 '18 at 16:36
• This really shouldn't be closed as homework. This is one of the problems you'll have when hybridisation is taught as a law and not as a helpful tool. This is clearly a conceptual query, unfortunately based on a misconception. – Martin - マーチン Oct 4 '18 at 19:23
• Whether hybridisation is real or not is not the point here. – Feodoran Oct 5 '18 at 6:26

You are confusing different concepts here. The first one ($$\ce{[(1s)^2] (2s)^1 (2p)^3}$$) is an electron configuration. The other one ($$\ce{sp^3}$$) is an hybrid orbital.