## Difference between subshell and orbital [ENDORSED]

Connie2I
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:07 am

### Difference between subshell and orbital

Could someone explain the difference between a subshell and an orbital? I've heard both of the terms be referred to in the same problem, but I wasn't quite sure how they differed.

Posts: 53
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:03 am

### Re: Difference between subshell and orbital  [ENDORSED]

A subshell is a group of orbitals with properties such as shape. An orbital can contain 2 electrons that have opposite spin.

Lily Sperling 1E
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:14 am

### Re: Difference between subshell and orbital

Electrons with the same "n," or principal quantum number, belong to an orbital. So, for example, if a configuration had 2s^2, 2p^5, both the "p" and the "s" would be considered part of the same orbital. Within the orbital, the subshell refers to electrons with the same "l," or angular momentum. For example, the "s" and the "p" in the above theoretical example would be in separate subshells.

Wenjie Dong 2E
Posts: 53
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:40 am

### Re: Difference between subshell and orbital

We can have many orbitals (s, p, d, f) under one subshell.

Jessica Beroukhim 3K
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:07 am

### Re: Difference between subshell and orbital

In the textbook, page 39 - "There are three p-orbitals in each subshell"
Based on this, you can connect the terminology to the different quantum numbers (not their number or meaning, but what they refer to in terms of the shape)
n = energy level or shell (for example the n=1 energy level)
l = subshell (for example the 2p or 3p subshells)
m = orbital (for example, there are 3 orbitals, holding 6 total electrons within the 2p subshell)

Navleen Bajwa 3A
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:06 am

### Re: Difference between subshell and orbital

Subshells are groups of orbitals that have the same value of l. For instance, there is only one subshell in the n=1 level (l=0).

Michael Cheng 1C
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Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:00 am

### Re: Difference between subshell and orbital

Can someone tell me the difference between a wave function and orbitals?

Christy Zhao 1H
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:07 am

### Re: Difference between subshell and orbital

A wave function and orbital have the same meaning. In the textbook it says, "wavefunctions of electrons in atoms are called atomic orbitals."

AtreyiMitra2L
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### Re: Difference between subshell and orbital

A subshell refers to the angular momentum quantum number (s,p,d,f) and the orbital refers to the magnetic quantum number. Each subshell has a certain number of quantum numbers (2l + 1).

Meredith Steinberg 2E
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:00 am

### Re: Difference between subshell and orbital

A shell corresponds to the principal quantum number (n). Inside each shell are subshells, which are the angular momentum quantum numbers (l). Depending on the subshell, there is a specific amount of orbitals. For example, in the subshell l=1 (p-orbital) there are 3 orbitals where 6 electrons can occupy.