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### Difference Between Orbitals and Subshells

Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:29 pm
Can someone please clarify which variables are the orbitals and which are the subshells, I am a bit confused.

### Re: Difference Between Orbitals and Subshells

Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:46 pm
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.

### Re: Difference Between Orbitals and Subshells

Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 6:37 pm
Is an orbital simply the l value then? Or are there different orbitals in each s, p, d, f subshell?

### Re: Difference Between Orbitals and Subshells

Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 7:35 pm
@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.

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

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:18 am
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!

### Re: Difference Between Orbitals and Subshells

Posted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:34 am
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?

### Re: Difference Between Orbitals and Subshells

Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:07 am
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.

### Re: Difference Between Orbitals and Subshells

Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:23 am
Remember when it asks for sub shell designation, it means both n and l as well (e.g. 4s, 2p, etc...).