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I'm really confused on the meaning of the angular momentum quantum number because in my notes I wrote that it determines "shape" but I also remember Professor Lavelle saying that orbitals are simply math functions and don't actually determine the physical location of the electron. Can someone clarify what it actually tells us and what it doesn't? Thanks!
The angular momentum quantum number describes the shape the orbital where an electron is found. As for calculations. The L helps us calculate orbital angular momentum which is the rate that the electron moves around the nucleus. That formula is (l(l+1))^1/2*(h/2pi)
It determines the shape of the orbit in which the electron resides, but there is no way to determine exactly where in this orbit the electron is, rather we can predict the region it is generally restricted to.
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