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Difference between subshell and orbital

Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:52 pm
by Connie2I
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.

Re: Difference between subshell and orbital  [ENDORSED]

Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:29 pm
by Adam Enomoto 1L
A subshell is a group of orbitals with properties such as shape. An orbital can contain 2 electrons that have opposite spin.

Re: Difference between subshell and orbital

Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:52 pm
by Lily Sperling 1E
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.

Re: Difference between subshell and orbital

Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:47 pm
by Wenjie Dong 2E
We can have many orbitals (s, p, d, f) under one subshell.

Re: Difference between subshell and orbital

Posted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:47 pm
by Jessica Beroukhim 3K
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)

Re: Difference between subshell and orbital

Posted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:44 pm
by Navleen Bajwa 3A
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).

Re: Difference between subshell and orbital

Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 1:15 am
by Michael Cheng 1C
Can someone tell me the difference between a wave function and orbitals?

Re: Difference between subshell and orbital

Posted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 3:33 pm
by Christy Zhao 1H
A wave function and orbital have the same meaning. In the textbook it says, "wavefunctions of electrons in atoms are called atomic orbitals."

Re: Difference between subshell and orbital

Posted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:55 pm
by AtreyiMitra2L
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).

Re: Difference between subshell and orbital

Posted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:04 am
by Meredith Steinberg 2E
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.