In which of the following diagrams is the Aufbau principle violated?

enter image description here

Ignoring the Hund principle, the Aufbau principle states that electrons have to first fill the lowest energy levels. Now the energy level of the s-orbital has to be the lowest, and only in the option (b) the s-orbital is not filled fully. So the answer is (b).

Is my reasoning correct?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Well, yes, you're right. :) According to the Aufbau principle orbitals with a lower $n + l$ value are filled before those with higher $n + l$ values, so $n \mathrm{s}$ should be filled before $n \mathrm{p}$. $\endgroup$
    – Wildcat
    Jul 6, 2015 at 16:54
  • $\begingroup$ The image in this question is now broken, and therefore the question is completely unclear. This is why people need to write the question out in full, not rely on external sources or displays. $\endgroup$
    – Nij
    Jun 5, 2017 at 19:41
  • $\begingroup$ Had it been on the violation of Hund's rule then option (c) would be the answer. As it first fills singly when all the orbitals are singly occupied only then pairing of electrons commence. what do you say. $\endgroup$
    – Amtul Ahad
    Jun 25, 2019 at 7:20
  • $\begingroup$ Subshells may be depicted as: $\boxed{\uparrow \downarrow} \space \boxed{\uparrow | \uparrow | \uparrow}$ $\endgroup$
    – Shub
    Jul 4, 2021 at 16:48

1 Answer 1


Since the question specifically asks about the violation of Aufbau principle, your reasoning is correct.

Had it been based on the violation of Hund's rule then option (a) would be the answer.


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