## Difference Between Orbitals and Subshells [ENDORSED]

isauramora3K
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:07 am

### Difference Between Orbitals and Subshells

Can someone please clarify which variables are the orbitals and which are the subshells, I am a bit confused.

Eryn Wilkinson 3H
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:07 am

### Re: Difference Between Orbitals and Subshells

N is the shell, or the overall energy level (thinking of a Bohr diagram it is a new ring each time). L is the subshell, which further organizes the energy level into s, p, d, and f. Ml is the orbital, so if you drew out each level it would be each "box" with two electrons in it (_+_-_). Ms is the spin state of the electrons within that orbital, so it just tells you if you are talking about the arrow pointing up or the arrow pointing down.

Humza_Khan_2J
Posts: 56
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:00 am

### Re: Difference Between Orbitals and Subshells

Is an orbital simply the l value then? Or are there different orbitals in each s, p, d, f subshell?

Rachel N 1I
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:00 am

### Re: Difference Between Orbitals and Subshells

@Humza_Khan_3F I believe that the three quantum numbers: principal (n), angular momentum (l), and magnetic (m) together describe the size, shape, and orientation in space of an orbital of an atom. So the orbital is not simply the l value, it is made up by n,l,and m.

DAllaf
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:04 am

### Re: Difference Between Orbitals and Subshells  [ENDORSED]

So a subshell is a group of orbitals with particular properties like shape and angular momentum (E.g. s, p, d, f, g etc.) While an orbital can contain up to two electrons and has a particular shape and orientation.

Hope this helps!

dstemp
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:07 am

### Re: Difference Between Orbitals and Subshells

I know it is possible to determine what subshell an electron is in, but is it possible to determine the orbital it is in and the corresponding spin of the electron?

Rithik Kumar 3E
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:06 am

### Re: Difference Between Orbitals and Subshells

The subshell describes the particular shape of an orbital. For example, the orbitals in the s subshell have a spherical shape while the orbitals in the p subshells have a nodal shape. Hence the quantum numbers help us identify and gain a better understanding of a specific electron within an atom. The series of quantum numbers (n, l, ml, spin) tell us which energy level, what type of orbital shape, which orientation of the orbital shape, and the positive or negative spin of the electron. So it is also possible to determine the orbital and the corresponding spin of an electron.

JamesAntonios 1E
Posts: 70
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:04 am

### Re: Difference Between Orbitals and Subshells

Remember when it asks for sub shell designation, it means both n and l as well (e.g. 4s, 2p, etc...).